An Algerian diplomat speaking anonymously has said Algeria will accept King Mohammed VI’s offer for enhanced dialogue with Morocco.
Rabat – The diplomat’s position is unofficial since Ageria has not yet expressed its stance on the royal speech in which King Mohammed VI invited Morocco’s eastern neighbor to engage in a “frank and direct” dialogue with Morocco to solve regional issues that hamper Maghreb unity.
In an interview with Al Araby Al Jadeed, the Algerian diplomat said that Algeria will accept King Mohammed VI’s proposal. But the move will require a “phase of confidence building to lay down clear and binding bases for understanding.”
The diplomat also explained that Algeria has four demands Morocco must meet before re-establishing bilateral ties is possible.
Algeria’s preconditions include the “end of diplomatic and media propaganda campaigns between the two countries; the end of the flow of drugs into Algeria; good neighborliness and a comprehensive settlement through dialogue; and neutralizing the conflict of Western Sahara and keeping it within the context of the auspices of the United Nations.”
No bilateral talks on Western Sahara
He added that Algeria is firm in its position against any bilateral talks on Western Sahara, because it is an issue that should be solved at the UN.
The source added that Algeria considers itself as an “observer and a neighburing country to the conflict only.”
The last demand is the one Morocco may find the most objectionable as the North African country is mobilizing its diplomacy internationally to defend its position.
Algeria, which backs Polisario, has denied playing a main role in the conflict. Instead, Algeria says it is an observer party, saying that the conflict should be solved between Morocco and Polisario.
Morocco, however, will likely not agree to negotiate with Polisario because it considers the separatist group as an illegitimate representative of the Sahrawi population in Tindouf, Algeria, and in Western Sahara.
Morocco’s offer to involve Algeria in the UN-led political process received a nod in the latest resolution of the Security Council. On October 31, the Security Council voted for Resolution 2440, which urged Algeria to be involved in the political process and to contribute to a possible agreed upon and mutually acceptable solution.
Algerian drugs also a problem in Morocco
In 2017 and 2018, Algeria directly accused Morocco of “flooding” it with drugs. While Algeria blames Morocco for drug issues, Morocco has long complained of the high numbers of psychotropic tablets smuggled in from Algeria that Moroccan authorities have seized.
In 2017, Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) announced that seizures of psychotropic pills from Algeria “witnessed a very alarming rise over the past years.”
Morocco also offer security cooperation from Algeria to combat drug trafficking at the borders, including in the Sahel region.
Morocco’s demand for intensified cooperation was echoed by King Mohammed VI in his Tuesday speech for Green March Day.
The King also left the door open for any “initiative Algeria may want to offer in this regard so as to break the stalemate in the relations between the two neighbors and sister nations.”