Morocco's King Mohammed welcomes dialogue with Algeria

Wednesday November 7 2018

King Mohammed VI of Morocco. FILE | NATION

King Mohammed VI of Morocco. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Morocco's King Mohammed VI has expressed his country's willingness to dialogue with Algeria.

The king said Morocco stands ready to set up a joint political mechanism for consultation to settle the differences between the two countries.

In a speech on the 43rd anniversary of the Green March on Tuesday, King Mohammed recalled that, soon after he acceded to the throne, he asked that their common borders be opened and their relations be normalised.

The Green March was a strategic mass demonstration in November 1975, coordinated by the Moroccan government, to force Spain to hand over the disputed Spanish Sahara to Morocco.

Sister nation

"I should like to say today, in a very straightforward and responsible way, that Morocco stands ready for a direct and frank dialogue with our sister nation, Algeria, in order to settle the transient and objective differences impeding the development of relations between the two countries," said the monarch.


To this end, the king suggested; "to our Algerian brothers that we set up a joint political mechanism for dialogue and consultation. This mechanism's format, nature and level of representation can be mutually agreed upon".

He explained that Morocco was willing to consider the proposals Algeria may offer to break the stalemate between the two neighbours, adding that such a mechanism would analyse all the outstanding issues in good faith.

Fighting terrorism

"It will also contribute to enhancing bilateral coordination and consultation and help us rise to regional and international challenges, particularly in terms of fighting terrorism and addressing the issue of migration," the king stressed.

King Mohammed deplored the lack of unity in the Maghreb, underlining that the situation was utterly inconsistent with the bonds uniting their people, who share religion, language, history and destiny.

"This reality is at odds with the ambition that induced the generation who fought for freedom and independence to seek to achieve the unity of the Maghreb, as symbolised, at the time, by the Tangier Conference, which was held in 1958 and whose sixtieth anniversary we are commemorating this year," he said.


King Mohammed recalled that Morocco's support of the Algerian revolution strengthened the bonds between the monarchy and the Algerian Resistance, and also paved the way for joint Maghrebian political awareness and action.

Algeria and Morocco relations have been dominated by several issues since their independence, particularly the 1963 Sand War, the Western Sahara War of 1975-1991, the closing of their border in 1994, and the status of Western Sahara.

Morocco took control of the sparsely-populated Western Sahara in 1975. Since then, it has been the subject of a territorial dispute between Morocco and its indigenous Saharawi people, led by the Polisario Front.