For more than half a century, relations between Morocco and Algeria remained very tense.
Rabat – Former Moroccan Prime Minister and secretary of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) party, Abderrahmane Youssoufi, argued that it is necessary to provide the right conditions to achieve a “historic reconciliation with the Algerian brothers.”
The party held the conference in Oujda, 10 kilometers from the Algerian borders, because the city represents “a stronghold of common national resistance between the liberation movements in Morocco and Algeria,” according to Youssoufi.
The former PM expressed his satisfaction with King Mohammed VI’s speech on the 43rd anniversary of the Green March.
On November 6, 2018, King Mohammed VI called for dialogue between the two nations on the possibility of reopening borders with Algeria to “serve the two peoples’ interests.”
Youssoufi reiterated the King’s words saying that the two countries and their leaders are capable of opening a dialogue “without a third-party mediation,” and able to find solutions to all the issues complicating the Morocco-Algeria relations.
The former politician believes that the King’s speech aimed to tackle the problems between the two countries and find solutions.
“We are all supposed to participate in finding [solutions], because of our brotherhood and our common history,” said Youssoufi.
The former USFP leader also expressed his expectations of the Arab Maghreb Union to “realize the hopes of [all five countries’] peoples.” However, the union has not yet met any of the expectations because of “several problems,” according to Youssoufi.
At the end of his speech, Youssoufi recalled what the Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi once said about “the failing of the older generation to achieve the Greater Maghreb dream, and about his hopes in the newer generation [of politicians and diplomats] to reach it.”
Relations between Morocco and Algeria have been dominated by several issues since their independence in 1956 and 1962, respectively. The most notable illustrations of the conflict are the 1963 Sand War, the Western Sahara War between 1975 and 1991, and the closing of the Algeria-Morocco borders in 1994.
King Mohammed VI has called for a dialogue with Algeria in many of his recent speeches.
In the 2019 Throne Day speech, on July 30, the King said that Morocco has reaffirmed its sincere commitment to the “policy of the outstretched hand towards our Algerian brothers, out of loyalty to the bonds rooted in brotherhood, religion, language and good-neighborliness that have always existed between the people of the two sister nations.”
However, the offer for talks did not receive a response from Algeria with the country currently facing a political crisis.