6 November 2018 Morocco to reinstate “direct and frank” dialogue with “sister” Algeria

On Tuesday 6 October, Moroccan King Mohammed VI made a decisive move towards its long-time regional rival Algiers to break the political stalemate and restore ties, eventually including the re-opening of land borders, shut in 1994. In an official statement, he said: “Morocco stands ready for a direct and frank dialogue with our sister nation, Algeria, in order to settle the transient and objective differences impeding the development of relations between the two countries”. He also proposed to create a joint political consultation mechanism as a way to put an end to the dispute, “using an open-ended agenda, without conditions or exceptions”, according to his own words. Nevertheless, Mohammed VI stressed that his position regarding Western Sahara, a great element of discord in the relations between the two states, is unquestionable. He added: “the aim is to make sure the Moroccan Sahara can once again play its historical role as an effective link between Morocco and its sub-Saharan African roots, be it from the geographical or historical perspective”.