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Moroccans say « forward » to Boutaflika


It has been four years since that the Moroccan king had officially asked for the reopening of the country's border with Algeria, closed since 1994 due to some tensions between the two neighbors.
In 2008, king Mohammed VI showed the good willing of the Moroccans toward their neighbors the Algerians, and asked for the reopening of the terrestrial borders. This request has been made several times by the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, yet it was the first time that the king claimed it during his feast of throne’s speech in the 30th of July, 2008.

From that date, a series of official requests followed, and each time it was at the same occasion, the throne feast. The king, expressing the will of all the Moroccans, had repeated during the speeches of this annual feast in 2008, 2009, and again in 2011 the determination of the country for the reopening of the borders with Algeria. In the 30th of July, 2011, he said "We are keen to launch a new open dynamic on resolving all remaining problems, as a prelude to total normalization of bilateral relations... including the reopening of terrestrial borders."

Hence, one may say that for these past four years, the Moroccans and their king, indirectly said “yes we can” regarding better bilateral relations with their neighbors the Algerians, and so the reopening of the borders. And today, they are saying to the Algerian President Mr. Abdelaziz Boutaflika: “forward”.

From the other side, President Boutaflika never showed any interest on the reopening of the borders with morocco. He also never replied to the Moroccans' request on that regard neither the official nor the unofficial. Nevertheless, the Algerian president while congratulating the Moroccan king on the throne day this year, he clearly stated in his message published by APS "his firm determination to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and good neighborliness" and to "strengthen bilateral cooperation in the interest of both brotherly peoples". But one may not talk about bilateral cooperation of two neighbors if the borders are closed and there is no free trade nor freedom of movement of the two populations.

The Algerian government has expressed several times his determination to strengthen their relations with morocco, yet it has also expressed on numerous occasions his total objection on the reopening of the borders between the two countries. Besides the fact, that this is absolutely contradictory, it is also against the willing of the two populations and the strategies adopted by our globalized world.
Indeed, Moroccans and Algerians are very similar. They both are a mixed population between Amazighs and Arabs, and they both have been colonized by France. They almost have similar history, and their cultures and traditions have no much differences. In addition, several Algerian and Moroccan families are from the same origins. Thus, it is unbearable for them to keep their borders closed. Even Boutaflika was born and raised in Ouajda, a Moroccan city in the borders. In fact, the two neighbors are very much tied to each others, to accept some borders that separate them.

Besides, in our globalized world which is highly affected by the economic crises, any agreement or cooperation is needed, so two countries from the same region are not allowed to keep their borders closed. Economically it is not acceptable. By banishing the free trade, they are harming their people.
The European Union won the Nobel Price for their union and their common war against the economic crises, and the Maghreb countries are still discussing the reopening their borders. However, the Moroccans and their king believed in it four years ago, and said 'yes we can' for better bilateral relations with Algeria, and so free trade and free movement of the two populations. And today they are saying to Boutaflika « forward ».

Moroccans say « forward » to Boutaflika

Zineb Louh

الاربعاء 24 أكتوبر 2012

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