Rabat- During a meeting in Annaba,Algeria Algerian Former Prime Minister and the independent candidate for Algeria’s presidential election, Ali Benflis, promised on Wednesday to re-open Algeria’s borders with Morocco if he is elected president.
Using normalization of relations with Morocco as a tool ahead of the April 17th presidential election, Benflis promised to achieve an open Moroccan-Algerian border at a rally on Wednesday.
According to the Algerian newspaper Echorouk, Benflis “promised to develop border regions by encouraging investment and the creation of job opportunities”.
On the 17th day of the election campaign, Benflis said “I promise, if elected, to address the scourge of smuggling by developing the border regions.”
“This scourge can be eradicated through dialogue with the youth, mobilizing investments, job creation, and facilitating access to housing,” he explained.
Benfils is not the only candidate to promise to reopen the Algerian border with Morocco. Louiza Hannoune, the General Secretary of the Workers’ Party, also promised to be the Algerian “Chavez”, and open borders with Morocco, in a speech on April 6th.
Echorouk reported in another article that Louisa Hanoun promised in a popular gathering in the house of culture on Saturday, April 6th “to open borders with Morocco if elected President.
“If you vote for me, I will open the borders with Morocco because our immunity is our neighbors,” she said.
“We will play the same role that was played by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and we will build a large Maghreb and unite the Arab peoples and Kabilian Amazigh,” she added.
The Algerian-Moroccan border has remained closed since 1994, after Algeria was accused of involvement in a bombing in Marrakech in 1994. Since then, Morocco imposed a visa requirement on Algerian citizens, and Algeria decided to retaliate by closing the border with its western neighbor.
The two presidential candidates promised to allow Moroccans and Algerians to move between the two countries with only national identity cards.
Edited by Jessica Rohan
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