Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Algeria and Morocco can solve their diplomatic tension without a mediator.
Rabat – During an interview with Al Jazeera’s television program Bila Houdoud (Without Borders), Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita said that both Moroccan and Algerian peoples have a sincere determination to break the stalemate.
Tunisia has offered to mediate between Morocco and Algeria to solve their long-standing diplomatic disagreements. However, Bourita said that Morocco does not need a mediator to solve its issues with Algeria.
In November 2018, King Mohammed VI offered Algeria a dialogue initiative to break the division and lack of cooperation between the countries of the Maghreb, especially the absent diplomatic bonds between Morocco and Algeria.
Bourita said that Moroccan and Algerian peoples have an honest willingness to turn the page and re-establish diplomatic ties. Bourita also stated that Algeria’s request for a Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) Foreign Affairs Ministers Council was not an answer to Morocco’s dialogue offer. Bourita emphasized that the Maghreb region would be stronger if dual diplomatic ties between the Maghreb countries existed.
Several countries supported Morocco’s dialogue offer.
Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs Khemaies Jhinaoui said in an interview with Tunisian news outlet Assabah News that his country is continuing “efforts with the leaders of neighboring [countries] Morocco and Algeria to turn the page of Arab and regional bilateral differences, including the Moroccan-Algerian conflict.”
Western Sahara conflict
In his interview, Bourita explained that Morocco’s sovereignty over its southern provinces is not negotiable. He argued that the conflict should be solved within the auspices of the United Nations only, recalling that influential UNSC members welcomed Morocco’s Autonomy Plan, and described as a “credible” solution to the conflict.
Bourita also asserted that the autonomy plan, which Morocco introduced to the UN in 2007, shows its commitment to the development of the region for the benefit of Sahrawis.
When asked about the Moroccan Autonomy plan, Bourita said that the initiative seeks to integrate Sahrawis in development plans and to preserve the Moroccan Sahrawi heritage. Bourita also said that several powers like the US and France found the plan as a credible solution to solve the conflict over the region.
Bourita also spoke about the UN’s Geneva roundtable, which took place in December 2018. He said that the importance of the roundtable lay in the participation of all parties in the talks. He pointed out that Morocco went there to evaluate the other parties’ readiness to solve the issue and to reiterate Morocco’s principles: that Rabat will never accept a solution that excludes its sovereignty over the region.
Bourita went on to add that the meeting took place in accordance with the last two resolutions of the UN Security Council, in particular Resolution 2440, which calls for a realistic, pragmatic, and sustainable solution based on consensus and urges all stakeholders to participate in the process.