A summit of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) group of five north African countries has been postponed indefinitely at the request of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, apparently because of a dispute over Western Sahara, officials said Monday.
Algiers was to host Friday and Saturday what would have been the first AMU summit since 1994.
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika decided on the postponement after a telephone conversation with the Libyan leader.
It was understood to be due to the absence from the summit of Morocco's King Mohammed VI and the likely absence of Mauritanian President Mouaouya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya.
The postponement surprised observers in the Algerian capital, where experts had already gathered and preparations were underway.
"The date of the summit will be fixed later following consultations with all parties concerned," the official Algerian press agency APS said.
Moroccan Prime Minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi said Saturday that King Mohammed was not attending because of "reasons to do with Morocco's territorial integrity."
This was an indirect reference to a long-standing conflict between Morocco and Algeria over the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara. Rabat accuses Algiers of supporting the Polisario independence movement. (Albawaba.com)
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