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Vol 44 No 1

Published 10th January 2003

A defining terror

Expanding economies and dealing with Islamism dominate policy

North Africa's international relations will be defined this year, as last, by two things: the United States-led 'war on terrorism', targeting Islamist radicals, and efforts to integrate economies into the global market through World Trade Organisation membership and initiatives such as the European Union's Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and US free trade zone agreements. North African governments will be squeezed between supporting US President George W. Bush's campaign to reshape the world order and their populations' deep concern at the impending war to remove Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the Israeli government's treatment of Palestinians and post-9/11 negative perceptions of Arabs and Muslims. The evolving world order was highlighted by Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's three meetings with Bush last year and Libyan efforts to engineer a quiet rapprochement with Washington, not least to stop Colonel Moammar el Gadaffi following Iran, Iraq and North Korea into the 'Axis of Evil'.

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