Despite recent escalation, Morocco’s government is ready to open a direct and “frank” dialogue to break the stalemate with Algeria.
During an interview aired aon Al Sharq channel on Saturday, El Othmani said Morocco is ready to end the border dossier when Algerians are ready.
The Moroccan official recalled King Mohammed VI’s peace appeal to end the stalemate with Algeria, which has not yet responded to Morocco’s dialogue offer.
On November 6, 2018, King Mohammed VI invited Algeria to engage in a “frank and direct” dialogue to break the stalemate between Rabat and Algiers.
The King’s appeal also included a call for restoring full diplomatic ties and the reopening of the borders between the two countries.
The King renewed his dialogue offer in subsequent speeches, in the hopes of breaking the long-standing political and diplomatic stalemate between the two neighbors.
But there has been no official response from Algeria. Instead, the country continues to stand by its traditional position of opposing Morocco’s interests and questioning its territorial integrity by supporting and financing the Polisario Front.
Despite the absence of signs that Algeria will engage in a dialogue with Morocco, Rabat still appears to hope bilateral dialogue is not completely off table with a certain segment of the Algerian people and political class.
Algeria decided to close the border in 1994 after Morocco imposed visa regulations on Algerian visitors in the wake of a terrorist attack on the Atlas Asni hostel in Marrakech.
Morocco lifted the visa requirement in 2004, but the border has remained closed.