September 27, 2021

Dubai Week

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From the Sand War to Reconciliation .. Tensions between Morocco and Algeria

From the Sand War to Reconciliation .. Tensions between Morocco and Algeria

He brought back the last tightness in between Morocco Algeria highlights the relationship between the two countries that has seen multiple stations for decades.

For decades, because of the thorny file of the Western Sahara, relations between these two powerful forces in northwest Africa went further and further down.

The Policario Front Liberation Front on Morocco and the Western Sahara confronted each other in the conflict over the Western Sahara since the Spanish colonial exodus in the 1970s.

Morocco controls 80% of the Western Sahara and proposes to grant autonomy under its sovereignty.

The former cut to interest

And if Algeria I announced yesterday that I would sever ties with Morocco because this issue has occurred between the two sides before.

On March 7, 1976, Morocco severed diplomatic relations with Algeria after recognizing the “Sahrawi Republic” declared by the police at the time.

Sand war

But before that the tension began. In 1963, following a series of border incidents, a “sand war” broke out between the two neighbors.

The “Green March” in 1975, in which 350,000 Moroccans took control of the Western Sahara, led to the deterioration of relations between the two countries.

From the Moroccan-Algerian border (AFP archive)

Agreement on freedom of movement

But on February 26, 1983, King Hassan II of Morocco held a bilateral summit on the border with Algerian President Chadli Bentjet.

Then, this meeting, especially in April of the same year, will re-allow the freedom of the residents of both countries.

Then in May it was agreed to allow free movement of people and freight and open routes and railways between the two countries.

From the Moroccan-Algerian border (AFP archive)

From the Moroccan-Algerian border (AFP archive)

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Resumption of diplomatic relations

On July 11, 1987, he met with Algerian Foreign Minister King Hassan II. The Moroccan foreign minister then visited Algeria in November.

Later, Algeria and Morocco announced the resumption of diplomatic relations and the official opening of borders between them.

On June 7, King Hassan II visited Algeria for the first time in 15 years, attending the Emergency Arab Summit.

The visit of Algerian President Benjamin Netanyahu was the first visit by an Algerian president to Morocco since 1972.

At that time, the oil pipeline project to connect Algeria with Europe via Morocco was approved.

Similarly, a ceasefire was created between the two parties, and the ratification of Morocco’s June 1972 agreement in June 1992 put an end to border disputes, which led to the eruption of the “sand war”.

Boundary closures

However, on August 16, 1994, Morocco condemned the statements of Algerian President Liam Gerald, in which he described the Western Sahara as an “occupied country.”

On August 26, Morocco attacked Algeria after it attacked a hotel in Marrakesh and forced Algeria to obtain a visa to enter its territory, killing two Spanish tourists. Rabat blamed Algerian security forces for the attack.

Algeria closed its borders with Morocco.

However, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika attended the funeral of King Hassan II in Rabat on July 25, 1999, which eased some tensions.

However, the beginning of this compromise was quickly undermined by the massacre of 29 people in southwestern Algeria. At the time, Poteflicka accused Morocco of facilitating armed infiltration into its country.

From the Moroccan-Algerian border (AFP archive)

From the Moroccan-Algerian border (AFP archive)

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Break the ice

In March, however, several meetings between President Bouteflika and King Mohammed VI of Morocco contributed to “breaking the ice.”

In July 2011, the King of Morocco announced his support for the reopening of land borders and the normalization of relations with Algeria. Several months later, Bouteflika reaffirmed its determination to re-establish relations for the benefit of both countries.

Then, in December 2019, King Mohammed VI called on the new Algerian President Abdelmadjit Debou to open a “new page” in his congratulatory message.

From the Moroccan-Algerian border (AFP archive)

From the Moroccan-Algerian border (AFP archive)

However, in December 2020, Algeria reiterated, “The issue of Western Sahara is an issue of colonialism, which has renewed the unrest between the two parties.

Then, in July 2021, Algeria recalled its ambassador to Morocco for “consultation” on the Western Sahara file.

The final chapter of the turbulent relations announced on August 18 that Algeria had decided to “reconsider” its relationship with Morocco, accusing it of being involved in a massive fire that spread across the north of the country.

On August 24, the foreign minister again announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Morocco, and Rafat regretted the move.