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    King Mohammed VI confirms keenness to ‘upgrade’ Morocco’s relations with Algeria

    08 Jul 2018

    King Mohammed VI of Morocco has stressed his “keen interest” in continuing to work with Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to upgrade relations between their two countries.

    “Morocco,” wrote the King in a letter to the Algerian leader, “is keen on consolidating relations of cooperation and good-neighbourliness between the two countries, and raise them to the aspirations of integration and complementarity of the two peoples.” The letter was sent on the occasion of Algerian Independence Day, 5 July.

    The Moroccan monarch extended “the most sincere congratulations and wishes of health, wellness and happiness,” to Bouteflika. To the “brotherly people” of Algeria, he expressed Morocco’s desire for them “to make further gains on the path of progress and prosperity under his leadership.”

    Algeria’s Independence Day, said King Mohammed, is an occasion to evoke the bonds of brotherhood between the two peoples, who have a shared historical and cultural heritage, and look forward to a common future.

    However, the letter contradicts the general policy that Morocco under the King is pursuing on the ground with Algeria. He has, for example, frequently made charges against Morocco’s neighbour. The latest occasion was when his government’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, claimed during the recent African Union summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania, that Algeria is active in the disputed Sahara issue and the solution is in its hands. The minister also claimed that Algeria is behind the failure to build the Arab Maghreb Union.

    Bourita insisted that Algeria “embraces, finances and mobilises its diplomatic mechanisms to defend the Polisario Front, and that its leaders are running the country with the mentality of the cold war.” The relations between Morocco and Algeria are described as “cold” and even “tense”.

    In May, Algeria summoned the Moroccan ambassador to protest against what it considered “indirect intrusion” by Bourita’s announcement of the decision to cut diplomatic relations between his country and Iran. This was said to be because of the creation of the Sahrawi army by Hezbollah militants through the channels of an Iranian diplomat in Algeria.

    Morocco cut relations with Iran as a result. This, explained Bourita, was on the basis of “data confirming the existence of an attempt to harm Morocco’s supreme interests, security and stability.”

    middleeastmonitor

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