Morocco expresses worry over differences with Algeria

 King Mohammed VI of Morocco

King Mohammed VI of Morocco

The King of Morocco, King Mohammed VI has expressed worry over differences between Morocco and Algeria and proposing dialogue towards a joint political mechanism and consultation to overcome the differences.

He noted that the estranged relationship between Rabat and Algiers escaped normality and created an unacceptable situation which must be reversed with renewed bond of friendship.

In a televised speech in Rabat, Morocco, King Mohammed spoke at length about the relations between Rabat and Algiers lamenting that “the border between the two countries has been closed since 1994, and the last meeting between the heads of state was held in 2005.

“Since my ascension to the throne, I have called with sincerity and good faith for the opening of borders for the normalisation of Moroccan-Algerian relations, in order to make good progress in our relations, a joint political mechanism for dialogue and consultation, specifying that the level of representation within this structure, its format and its nature agreed by mutual agreement.

“Morocco is open to possible proposals and initiatives from Algeria to establish relations between our countries on solid foundations of trust, solidarity and good neighbourliness,” King Mohammed said.

He believed that the mechanism would make it possible to discuss “without taboos” all outstanding bilateral issues and to “put all grievances on the table” including issues regarding drugs, smuggling, the Western Sahara issue, unclear historical facts, breached conventions.

The mechanism would also identify bilateral cooperation projects “in key areas such as security” and coordinate actions on more global issues such as migration and terrorism, according to the same source.

“We hope that Algeria will respond positively to thwart the scenario that describes us as a region doomed to division,” King Mohammed said, stressing that “other countries have been able to overcome the difficulties by building on dialogue and betting on a common future”

The royal address coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Tangier conference – which saw the liberation movements of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia speak out in favour of the unity of the Maghreb – and with the 43rd anniversary of the “Green March”.

On November 6, 1975, 350,000 Moroccans undertook, at the call of their king, to march on Western Sahara, then under Spanish occupation, in the name of the territory’s membership of Morocco.

After the departure of the Spanish, the Polisario, supported by Algeria, proclaimed in 1976 a Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and called for a referendum on self-determination. -AFP


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