Morocco has stated its willingness to settle its long-standing dispute with Algeria that has hindered economic relations between the neighbouring countries.
During the commemoration of the 43rd anniversary of the Green March, King Mohamed VI stated that the country is ready for a direct and frank dialogue to settle their differences. A statement from the Moroccan Embassy in Kuala Lumpur revealed.“Morocco will remain, as pointed out by His Majesty the King, open to proposals and initiatives from Algeria, with the aim of building relations between the two countries on a well-founded basis,” the embassy statement read.
The long-standing dispute began during the Algerian civil war when Algiers accused Rabat of hosting and supporting the terrorist Armed Islamic Group of Algeria. Similarly, Morocco accused the Algerian GIA along with the Algerian Services of the Marrakech attack of 1994 that led to the death of two Spaniards.
The disputes became irreconcilable and the quarrel led to the border closure in 1994. Till date, the borders are still closed, costing $2 billion yearly to the Moroccan economy. In 2004, Morocco’s king abolished visa requirements for Algerians entering Morocco, two years later in 2006, Algerian President reciprocated.
Mohamed in his speech stated Morocco’s willingness to open up to Algeria, and proposed the setting up of a Moroccan-Algerian political mechanism of dialogue and consultation. He however stated that the dialogue would constitute a framework to settle differences hindering relations between the two countries. The dialogue would be aimed at analysing all issues using an open-ended agenda without conditions, enhancing consultation in addressing regional and international challenges.