Morocco has urged Algeria to respond officially to the proposal solemnly made by King Mohammed VI on November 6 for a direct and candid dialogue between the two neighboring countries in order to dispel the transient and objective differences that are impeding the development of bilateral relations.
This came at a meeting held Monday in Rabat between Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and Algeria’s Ambassador to Morocco.
A Statement released by the Moroccan Foreign Ministry after the meeting said Morocco remains “open and optimistic” about the future of relations with Algeria and reiterates its request to Algerian authorities to make known, officially, their response to the Royal initiative for the establishment of a joint political mechanism for dialogue and consultation to break the stalemate in bilateral relations.
Morocco can only regret that this invitation has not yet received the expected response, even though it has always been requested by Algeria itself.
Despite this situation, Morocco “remains open and optimistic about the future of relations between the two brotherly countries”. At a time when other approaches (regional framework, intermediaries, etc.) have proved unsuccessful, Morocco still hopes that direct human contacts will provide the appropriate response to bilateral differences, the statement said.
The meeting with the Algerian diplomat “takes place after several formal and informal moves to establish contact with Algerian authorities at ministerial level proved unsuccessful,” the statement said.
Nasser Bourita reiterated to his interlocutor Morocco’s wish to know the official reaction of the Algerian authorities to the royal initiative to establish a political mechanism for dialogue and consultation with Algeria, an initiative that has been commended by several countries and regional and international organizations.
The Moroccan top diplomat underlined that the royal initiative translates “a sincere willingness to create a framework for direct and inclusive bilateral dialogue, to resolve all disputes between the two countries, relaunch their cooperation and consult each other on regional and transnational challenges,” the statement added.
It recalled that as the King has pointed out in his November 6 speech, marking the celebration of the Green March, Morocco is willing to consider the proposals or initiatives Algeria may want to offer regarding the level, format, agenda, modalities and pace of this bilateral dialogue.
The Foreign Ministry statement added that “Morocco took note of the letter dated 23 November from the Secretary General of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) about the Tunisian and Algerian requests to hold a meeting of the AMU Foreign Ministers Council,” and that in this regard, Bourita made it clear that the Algerian request is unrelated to the Royal initiative.
The royal initiative is related purely to Moroccan-Algerian bilateral relations, while the Algerian approach is part of the relaunch of the AMU regional edifice, Bourita said.
He added that the state of lethargy that has been affecting AMU for years is essentially due to the abnormal nature of Moroccan-Algerian relations, which can only be addressed through bilateral, direct dialogue, without intermediaries.
Furthermore, until last week, the Maghreb Union and its member States have persistently called for a Moroccan-Algerian dialogue in order to transcend their differences in a spirit of neighborliness and a common aspiration to raise themselves to the level of the expectations of the five brotherly Maghreb peoples.
Morocco, which remains committed to relaunching the Maghreb Union on sound and solid foundations, has no objection, in principle, to holding a meeting of the AMU Council of Foreign ministers and has reacted constructively to Tunisia’s proposal.
Nevertheless, Morocco doubts that this 35th ministerial meeting can achieve any tangible results, different from the 34th meeting, in the absence of a good preparation and a responsible direct dialogue between two AMU member States.