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Maghrib states and sanctions

Hi all, 
If I'm not mistaken, there seems to be a clear joint strategy developing
from the Magrib States towards Iraqi sanctions. In the past few days, 3
conservative or pro-Western heads of state (viz, those of Morocco,
Tunisia & Mauritania) from the Maghrib have publicly called for sanctions
to be ended on humanitarian grounds. I list references below. Can anyone
shed any further light on this? Any ideas what's been behind the increased
As for me, I see this as a very positive step. Maybe the most likely way
for sanctions to end is not through direct pressure on UK/US governments
but for a sufficient number of regional States to start disavowing
sanctions that they can openly admit to & encourage breaking them. This
would force the US & UK to claim a 'compromise deal' has been
reached to save face, whilst really backing down - like the Libyan
situation last year. 
On a broader front: has anyone produced or seen a good recent overview of
Arab States' positions on sanctions? Apart from Oman, which Mashriq
governments have called for an end to sanctions? If there isn't a good
overview of this nature, would anyone be interested in producing one, for
the CASI website?

The French text of Ben Ali's speech on 10 May 2000:
pp2-3; the relevant para. is towards the end of p.3.

I presume the speech was originally given in French, in which case the
translation below is slightly faulty.

(From Iraqi sanctions Monitor; press source unknown): 

Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has called for an end to the
embargoes on Libya and Iraq.

Speaking at a presidential banquet in Lisbon on Tuesday night, he told
Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio that sanctions on Libya should be
lifted because of its cooperation in the Lockerbie trial and that the
embargo on Iraq should be removed because of the suffering of the Iraqi

"Tunisia has noted with great satisfaction the positive developments in
the Lockerbie case. This requires the speeding up of the final lifting of
the embargo imposed on the fraternal Libyan people so as to bolster our
efforts to continue the march of the Arab Maghreb Union," he said in
remarks broadcast on Wednesday by Tunisian radio.

"The suffering of the fraternal Iraqi people and the deterioration of its
living and health conditions are a source of grave concern for us. We
call for the speedy lifting of the embargo to preserve their dignity and
territorial integrity and to serve the interest of the countries and
peoples of region," he said.

Ben Ali also said that the Palestinians should be allowed to create their
own independent state.

Report, from Thursday 27 April

Morocco Renews Call to Lift Embargo on Iraq
TANGIER - Morocco on Wednesday renewed the call to lift the sanctions
imposed on Iraq since its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

"The situation in Iraq and the painful circumstances that the
brotherly Iraqi people are undergoing push us to call the international
community once again to put an end to the pain of this people's children
and to secure them the basic rights to life, medicare and education," King
Mohammed VI said at a dinner banquet, he hosted Wednesday in Tangiers in
honor of visiting President Mouaouia Ould Sid Ahmed Taya of Mauritania.

The Mauritanian president echoed the Sovereign's standpoint
and urged for lifting the anti-Iraq sanctions.


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