Ghannouchi, who recently criticized Morocco’s decision to establish ties with Israel, is calling for a Maghreb Union without Morocco.
Rabat – Rashid Ghannouchi, the Speaker of the Tunisian parliament and head of the Islamist Ennahda party, stirred controversy this week after he pleaded for a Maghreb Union that includes only Libya, Algeria, and Tunisia.
The Tunisian official made the comments in a recent interview with Radio Diwan FM. In the interview, Ghannouchi notably called for the relaunch of what he described as the Arab Maghreb Union triangle, including Libya, Algeria, and Tunisia.
“This should be the starting point for relaunching the dream of the Arab Maghreb Union, which will help resolve Tunisia’s problems,” he argued.
Ghannouchi claimed that the project should include the opening of the borders between the three countries to preserve a common future for the Maghreb countries.
He also called for the unification of the countries’ currencies. As the three nations share common interests and challenges, they are bound to have a common future, he pleaded.
Expressing satisfaction with Tunis-Algiers ties, Ghannouchi said his country’s relation with Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s administration is “excellent.”
This is not the first time that the Tunisian Islamist leader has taken with Morocco.
After Morocco and Israel“normalized ” their relations in December of last year, Ghannouchi the rapprochement agreement as a violation of the Arab consensus.
He told Sputnik that his country was “shocked by this step, which contradicted the Arab consensus as expressed by the Arab Peace Initiative.”
Morocco announced its diplomatic rapprochement with Israel on December 10. The country was the fourth Arab nation to publicly embrace the Trump administration-moderated “Abraham Accords,” joining the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan in normalizing ties with Israel.
Morocco’s unheard call for Maghreb unity
Despite continued provocations from Algeria, Morocco has long called for ending the trust and solidarity crisis befalling the Maghreb.
“We are optimistic and hopeful that we can work for the fulfilment of Maghreb peoples’ aspirations for unity, complementarity and integration,” King Mohammed VI said during a speech on the 20th anniversary of the monarch’s accession to the throne in 2019.
Algeria has been financing, arming and supporting Polisario’s independence claims over Western Sahara.
The neighbouring country has been also attacking Morocco’s internal affairs, including its decision to establish ties with Israel.
Morocco attempted to break the stalemate with Algeria, calling it to engage in a serious and frank dialogue.
However, the Algerian government continues to turn a deaf ear to Morocco’s repeated calls for initiative.
Algeria also refused to open borders with Morocco. The borders between the two countries have been closed since 1994.
Algeria decided to close the border when Morocco imposed visa regulations on Algerian visitors in the wake of a terrorist attack on the Atlas Asni hostel in Marrakech.
Morocco lifted the visa requirement in 2004, but the border has remained closed.