Algerian President: We Welcome Any Moroccan Initiative to End Crisis

Morocco ‘could take an initiative, which would bring an end once and for all to this matter,’ says Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune

The president of Algeria said Saturday he would welcome an initiative to end a decades-long cold war with Morocco, reported Anadolu Agency.

“If they think an initiative should be taken, I think that would be good. They could take an initiative, which would bring an end once and for all to this matter,” Abdelmadjid Tebboune told France 24.

“We have no problem with our Moroccan brothers, they appear to have a problem with us,” said Tebboune.

“Everything we do within Algeria domestically … thinking we have some ulterior motives, we have none, no ulterior motives against our brothers in Morocco or the king of Morocco,” he added.

He continued stressing: “If there is an initiative by the Moroccan brothers to overcome tension, we will definitely welcome it, and I think they can launch this initiative to end these problems.”

On the future of relations, Tebboune said: “Until now, the tension is still verbal, and we see that the Moroccan brothers passed through to another stage, and we hope that things will stop at this point … The voice of reason has always been the highest in the relations of the two countries.”

In December 2019, King Mohammed VI of Morocco sent a telegram of congratulations to Tebboune on his assumption of power as President of Algeria, and called on him to “open a new page in the relations of the two countries on the basis of mutual trust and constructive dialogue.”

During the past weeks, political and diplomatic tensions between Algeria and Morocco have re-emerged, against the backdrop of a statement by a Moroccan diplomat who described Algeria as an “enemy country.”

Last May, Algerian media and social media circulated a video clip showing a meeting they said was for the Moroccan consul in Oran (northwest of Algeria) with members of the Moroccan community in front of the consulate headquarters in the city.

In the context of asking his community to leave the place, the consul justified his request by saying: “You know we’re on the land of an enemy country.” Then Algeria demanded that the consul to be withdrawn, which Rabat did.

Borders between the two countries have been closed for decades.

Occupied by Spain until 1975, Western Sahara – a large territory in southern Morocco – has remained the subject of dispute between Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front for more than four decades.

After years of conflict, the two parties signed a UN-backed cease-fire in 1991.

The Polisario, a national liberation movement that wants to end Moroccan presence in the Western Sahara, has long called for a popular referendum to decide the region’s political fate.