Mauritanian President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya arrived in Morocco on Wednesday for talks expected to focus on the Western Sahara dispute and efforts to revive the long-dormant Arab Maghreb Union (AMU).
President Taya, who is on his first visit to Morocco since King Mohammed VI ascended the throne of his country last June, was received by the Moroccan Monarch and his brother Rasheed in the port city of Tangier, the official news agency MAP said.
The Moroccan monarch and president Taya were expected to discuss means of promoting bilateral cooperation and key regional and international issues of common concern, particularly the disputed issue of Western Sahara between Morocco and separatist Polisario Front, MAP added.
The five-nation AMU was set up in 1989 as a political and economic grouping, but it has never taken off, due mainly to the Western Sahara dispute between key members Algeria and Morocco.
The United Nations has failed repeatedly to hold a referendum in the desert territory to decide whether it should be incorporated into Morocco, which controls most of the former Spanish colony, or become independent as sought by the Algeria-backed Polisario Front.
Mauritania pulled out of southern parts of the Western Sahara in 1979, four years after Spain withdrew from the territory. But Nouakchott has observer status in long-running UN-brokered peace talks – (Agencies)
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