El Khalfi: Morocco Seeks New Era in Maghreb Relations

Morocco’s Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi.

Rabat – In a press conference after the cabinet’s weekly meeting on Thursday, El Khalfi commented on King Mohammed VI’s Green March speech and his offer to Algeria for a “frank and a direct” dialogue to solve regional issues that hinder Maghreb unity.

El Khalfi announced the government’s mobilization to implement the “historic” and “bold” initiative based on Morocco’s extended hand to Algeria to put in place a framework of bilateral cooperation.

In his speech on Tuesday, the King referred to the “division and lack of unity in the Maghreb.”

“This unreasonable situation is utterly inconsistent with the brotherly bonds uniting our peoples, who share the same religion, language, history and destiny,” he added.

The King also described Moroccan-Algerian ties as “not normal” and “much less than acceptable,” calling for more cooperation and direct dialogue.

El Khalfi said that future Moroccan-Algerian cooperation should be built on their common past, marked by the fight of the two people against colonization.

In his speech, King Mohammed VI said that the two countries “together fought colonial rule for many years until independence was obtained. We know each other very well, and many Moroccan and Algerian families are united by the bonds of marriage and kinship.”

El Khalfi said that the issues which come under the scope of the United Nations, a reference to the Western Sahara conflict, will follow their own process. King Mohammed VI’s proposal is to lay the foundation for another concrete process without conditions or exceptions and in good faith.  

During his speech, the King said that Morocco is ready to receive any “proposals or initiatives Algeria may want to offer in this regard so as to break the stalemate in the relations between the two neighbors and sister nations.” Morocco and Algeria share the world’s longer closed land border.

Algeria has not yet issued any official statement about its position on the King’s offer.