Rabat – A “Geopolitical-Economic Earthquake” is how Algerian media outlet El Watan has described Morocco’s recent request to join the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The El Watan article, entitled “Algeria, The Motionless Shadow That Sends Merkel back in Her Plane and Morocco to ECOWAS,” claimed that Morocco membership in ECOWAS might isolate Algeria from the African continent following the recent step of Morocco to diversify and develop its economic ties within the African continent.
Algeria, whose economy has not been able to equal these developments, has become worried about the positive impact that this request that might would have on the Moroccan economy as well as the 15 West African ECOWAS members.
According to the Algerian newspaper, last week Algeria received two slaps in the face, that put Algeria in a difficult situation. First, German Chancellor Angela Merkel cancelled her visit to Algeria due to poor health of the nations’ president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
One day later, the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation’s announcement of Morocco’s desire to join ECOWAS probably made the Algerian media uneasy. The decision prompted them to raise questions about their country’s diplomatic and economic policy toward the world, especially given the precarious health of their president.
The El Watan article explained that the cancellation of Merkel’s visit to the country reflected the absence of strategic vision.
The publication said that many countries wish to receive Merkel, but Bouteflika’s inability to meet her hinders the development of trade between Germany and Algeria.
El Watan pointed to Algeria’s postponement of the Maghreb Arab Union (AMU). Morocco, it said, will look elsewhere, reiterating that this request is a “geopolitical earthquake,” and asserting that King Mohammed VI had already initiated the AMU’s funeral oration during his speech to African leaders at the closing of the 28th Summit of the African Union in Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa in late January.