The recent call launched by King Mohammed VI to neighboring Algeria for a direct, open and frank dialogue without constraints to resolve all the Moroccan-Algerian issues continue to score positive reactions worldwide.
French Foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian paid tribute to the royal move, saying Paris has always called for the strengthening of relations between Morocco and Algeria, which are France’s major partners.
He went on to say that the Maghreb cannot succeed if it remains divided and if the land borders continue to be closed, noting that the unity of this region can enable Maghreb people to overcome all challenges.
Moroccan-Algerian land borders are closed since 1994 when Algeria decided to shut down the border after Morocco imposed visa regulations on Algerian visitors in the wake of a terrorist attack on the Atlas Asi hotel in Marrakech.
Moroccan authorities lifted the visa requirement in 2004. However, the border has remained closed despite Rabat’s numerous calls to end this abnormal situation and tear down the barriers.
In Madrid, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell praised the call made by King Mohammed VI to Algeria for a direct dialogue, saying that Morocco’s proposals are destined to strengthen the “ties between two important neighbors, friends and partners of Spain”.
At the United Nations, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary General said the UN chief Antonio Guterres has always been very supportive of increased dialogue between Algeria and Morocco and welcomes the royal initiative.
“The Secretary General welcomes the support extended by His Majesty, the King of Morocco, in relation to the efforts made by the Secretary General’s Personal Envoy for the Sahara, Horst Köhler, towards the resumption of the talks” on the Sahara issue, he added.
For his part, Secretary General of the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) welcomed the initiative of King Mohammed VI to set up a joint mechanism for dialogue between Morocco and Algeria to settle differences between the two countries.
The proposals voiced by the Moroccan King will spur a new dynamic, facilitating cooperation, complementarity and integration in the Maghreb, said the UMA secretary General.
He expressed hope that Algeria would embrace the bold royal initiative to give a new impetus to the Maghreban joint action to achieve sustainable development and counter the threat of terrorism, while building a better future for the peoples of the region.
In a speech marking the 43rd anniversary of the Green March, the Moroccan Sovereign deplored the state of Moroccan-Algerian relations as “unreasonable” and “utterly inconsistent” with the brotherly bonds uniting the two peoples, who share the same religion, language, history and destiny.
To remedy the situation, the Sovereign called for a direct and frank dialogue in order to settle the transient and objective differences impeding the development of relations between the two countries and suggested the establishment of a mechanism for dialogue and consultation to break the stalemate in bilateral relations.
The Royal initiative was also commended by several Arab and African countries as an opportunity to open new perspectives for peace, stability and development in the Maghreb.