The Algerian journalist and politician stressed that Algerians and Moroccans are brothers, saying his country’s people have had enough of Algeria’s hostile approach towards Morocco.
Rabat – Algerian television presenter and former presidential candidate Ghani Mahdi has condemned the Algerian regime for its hostile approach towards Morocco.
In a broadcast posted on his Facebook on May 14, the London-based journalist called upon the Algerian regime to end its paradox towards Morocco.
Mahdi recalled the inflamed tensions between Morocco and Algeria after a video circulated on social media allegedly showing the Moroccan consul in Oran calling Algeria “an enemy country” while talking to Moroccan citizens.
Algeria accused the consul of a “serious violation of diplomatic habits” and Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sabri Boukadoum summoned the Moroccan ambassador.
Mahdi criticized Boukadoum for summoning the Moroccan diplomat.
“Boukadoum summoned [the] Moroccan ambassador to ask for what? That we are not an enemy country for Morocco?” he asked. “We know that we have been enemies” for years, he said.
The Moroccan consul, however, denied the accusations against him, describing the video and statement attributed to him as fabricated.
Since the border between the two countries has been closed for years, Algerians and Moroccans are unable to travel back and forth despite being “one,” Mahdi argued.
“We share the same history, the same thinking and language,” Mahdi said.
“Don’t fool yourself to say that we are friends and not enemies, Mr. Boukadoum,” he said, referring to Algeria’s legacy of hostility towards Morocco.
Mahdi, who launched a bid in 2019 for the Algerian presidency, said Moroccans and Algerians are brothers. He accused his country of taking advantage of every crisis possible to close borders with its neighboring countries.
Algeria decided to close the border in 1994 when Morocco imposed visa regulations on Algerian visitors in the wake of a terrorist attack on the Atlas Asni hostel in Marrakech.
Morocco lifted the visa requirement in 2004, but the border has remained closed.
“This system does not know any other way but the language of power. If we had diplomacy, we would have solved the Western Sahara conflict diplomatically,” he stressed.
He also slammed Algeria for financing the Polisario Front just to show that the regime is an enemy of Morocco and its territorial integrity.
“The Algerian regime is bored of this situation,” he emphasized, calling on the governments of Morocco and Algeria to discuss the conflict in a rational manner.
Despite housing the Polisario Front on its soil, Algeria refuses to shoulder responsibility for the Western Sahara conflict, claiming the issue only concerns Morocco and Polisario.
Mahdi’s statements against the Algerian regime and the border closure followed similar remarks from French-Algerian lecturer and essayist Idriss Aberkane.
In a video he posted on his YouTube channel on May 14, the academic said, “Western Sahara is a Moroccan territory, whatever we say.”
“I am Algerian, and I’m telling you that it is a Moroccan territory,” he said.
Remarking on the closed border, Aberkane compared the situation with the line between North and South Korea and said it is reminiscent of World War II.
“Algeria must think like a 21st-century country,” he stressed.