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Mubarak Signs Agreements in Morocco

June 14, 1999

RABAT, Morocco (AP) _ Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ended a two-day visit Sunday to North Africa, where he signed nine agreements with Morocco and pledged to help the kingdom settle its differences with Algeria.

During the visit, which included a stopover of several hours in the Algerian capital of Algiers, Mubarak presided alongside King Hassan II over the third session of the Egyptian-Moroccan High Commission.

The two nations signed nine accords, pledging to cooperate in areas such as air transport and higher education, the official Moroccan news agency reported. That brings the total number of accords between the two nations to 60.

In Rabat and Algiers, Mubarak also discussed the Middle East peace process, the July summit of the Organization of African Unity in the Algerian capital, and the possibility that Egypt might eventually join the Maghreb Arab Union, made up of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya, officials said.

The Egyptian president also discussed the Western Sahara, which Morocco has laid claim to since Spain abandoned it in 1975. Polisario Front rebels, based in southern Algeria, are seeking the region’s independence.

Mubarak suggested Egypt could play a role in bringing the North African neighbors closer.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in office since April 24, expressed hope that the Egyptian president could play a ``positive role″ in a rapprochement.

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