By Majid Morceli
By Majid Morceli
San Francisco – Moroccans decision-makers have recently been asking Algeria to reopen its borders, but the Algerian government has declined, even going so far as to impose impossible conditions to even start discussing normalization with Morocco, much less opening the borders.
Algeria’s reasons for keeping its borders closed are outdated and based on a vendetta and cold war mentality. Among the many reasons that Algeria made this decision is that Morocco will be the sole beneficiary of such an arrangement. Morocco needs Algerian tourists. Algeria thinks, “we will make Morocco pay for imposing visa requirements on Algerians 20 years ago, Morocco using drugs to kill Algerians, Morocco wanting to invade Algeria, Morocco causing riots in Ghardai, Morocco recruiting and hosting terrorists to attack Algerians.” The list goes on and on.
While Algeria’s reasons are ridiculous at best, Moroccan authorities should at least think before asking the Algerians to open their borders.
– The Algerian regime is not interested in a deal, and has consistently and continuously affirmed that it is not something that is not on their agenda. By now, top Moroccan decision-makers need to understand that the more you ask the Algerians to come to their senses and turn the page to start a new beginning, the more they interpret it as a Moroccan weakness, and, in turn, use it as a propaganda tool for their own people.
– We don’t need to keep demonstrating that we are extending the olive branch to Algeria. The whole world, including the Algerian people, knows that we have tried time and again to start fresh, but the Algerians do not believe it is in their interests to act like a civilized country: look to the future instead of being stuck in the past. We need to respect the will of the Algerians instead of insisting on changing them to fit our own agenda.
– Moroccan officials need to reflect on their non-relationship with Algeria. What they are dealing with is not something that they can solve with common sense. They cannot solve this problem by tapping into our similarities of term of tradition, language, religion, common destiny, and even blood. The Algerians, unlike Moroccans do not see the importance in our similarities. Moroccan leaders making decisions on the peoples’ behalf need to understand that regardless of our many similarities with the Algerians, our mentalities have always been very far apart. Moroccans are a forgiving people. We don’t hold grudges for decades. We might argue and fight today, but tomorrow we are brothers and sisters. We believe that it goes against who we are as Moroccans to continue the bickering, or even worse, the hate. We simply move on.
– It would be foolish to think that under the current Algerian regime (or even the next one) that their views will change. Based on this very likely assumption, Morocco needs to look into the future instead of repeatedly asking for the borders to open. Just like Morocco’s sacred cause is Western Sahara, the Algerian regime’s sacred cause is also Western Sahara, even though it maintains that its only concern is to uphold international law. Just like Morocco will never give up an inch of Western Sahara, Algeria too will never cease to support the enemies of Morocco’s territorial integrity.
For as long as Algeria is run by a secretive military regime whose sole goal is to see Morocco stripped of Western Sahara, Morocco should stop hoping that its neighbor might have a change of heart. Sixty years have passed and absolutely nothing has changed. It would be naive and irresponsible to expect that the regime in Algeria will take us by surprise and renounce its hatred toward and its vendetta against Morocco.
Knowing what we know, asking for the borders to open is nothing short of ridiculous, and frankly it’s an insult to us Moroccans. For good or for bad Algerians will always be our neighbors and we will always be theirs. The majority of ordinary Algerians hardly care about what is taking place in Western Sahara. They do not think that their regime spending billions keeping the Polisario alive is a such a big deal, unlike the puppet Algerian media and the regime. Algeria is hoping to bring about the downfall their neighbor in order to become the sole power in North Africa, which is obviously wishful thinking.
Moroccan public servants need to stop dreaming. They are doing more harm than good to the Moroccan people when they insist on having a relationship that Algeria is adamantly against. We know you tried, but it did not work, so keep your dignity and let’s move on.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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