The statement comes at a fully charged context as relations between Morocco and Algeria experienced more than just a political rift in recent months.
Rabat – The speaker of the Moroccan House of Representatives, Habib El Malki, has emphasized the importance of political and parliamentary dialogue between Morocco and Algeria.
El Malki made the remarks during a meeting with Algerian Ambassador to Morocco Abdelhamid Abdaoui in Rabat on Thursday.
“What unites the two countries is bigger than what divides them,” said El Malki.
El Malki said parliamentary diplomacy could “open new horizons of cooperation and to bring closer the points of view of the two countries on various issues of common interest.”
Ambassador, Abdaoui also stressed the importance of dialogue between the two countries, “especially at the parliamentary level” to reconcile the two countries’ different perspectives, Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported.
The Moroccan official expressed the importance of intensifying visits from friendship groups and legislative officials between Morocco and Algeria.
Thursday’s meeting comes after Algeria made hostile statements against Morocco’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over Western Sahara, renewing tensions between the two countries.
The Algerian government is sheltering, arming, and financing the breakaway group of the Polisario Front, seeking independence in Western Sahara.
Algeria has also been challenging the diplomatic achievements Morocco recently reaped after nine African countries decided to open consulates in Laayoune and Dakhla in Western Sahara.
‘Many things that unite us’
During his meeting with Abdaoui, El Malki echoed Morocco’s offer of dialogue with Algeria at the initiative of King Mohammed VI in 2018.
In his speech for the 43rd anniversary of the Green March, the King asked Algeria to engage in a frank and serious dialogue to overcome the stalemate between the two neighbors.
Despite Algeria ignoring Morocco’s offer, El Malki renewed the country’s determination to engage in a dialogue with Algeria to address the political rift.
Reviewing the countries’ similarities, he pointed out their commonalities in terms of history, memory, language, religion, culture, geography, etc.
El Malki also spoke about the “solid bonds of brotherhood between the Moroccan and Algerian peoples,” emphasizing they “aspire to build the Maghreb Union and to strengthen the ties of cooperation and solidarity between their countries.”
“There is economic complementarity between the two countries and many things that unite us,” Abdaoui agreed.
He emphasized that the two countries along with others in the region should work together for a greater Maghreb.
Citizens of both countries have rallied several times at the border to ask the governments to reopen the border.
Algeria shut down the border with Morocco in 1994 after Rabat imposed visa regulations on Algeri in the wake of the 1994 Asni terrorist attack in Marrakech.
The ambassador of Algeria met with El Malki as part of a friendly and courtesy visit after his appointment as his country’s new ambassador in Rabat, MAP added.