Rabat Wants Algiers to Unveil its Stand on Royal Dialogue Offer

Three weeks after the offer made by King Mohammed VI to Algeria for direct and frank talks to settle all pending issues, Algerian authorities have not responded officially yet.

Many analysts are wondering why they remain silent and avoid showing their cards. Some say they were surprised by the King’s offer to establish a political mechanism for dialogue and consultation, while others explain their elusiveness by their skepticism and embarrassment to see neighboring Morocco becoming a lodestar, taking over leadership position in the region.

Instead of responding directly and openly to the royal initiative for bilateral dialogue, the Algerian regime called the Secretariat General of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) to convene an urgent meeting of the foreign Ministers’ council of the North African grouping.

Despite this evasive move to avoid face-to-face talks, Morocco keeps faith and remains upbeat over the future of relations with Algeria as put by the Moroccan Foreign Ministry in a press release issued Monday following a meeting between Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and Algeria’s ambassador to Rabat.

The Algerian move requesting a meeting of the Arab Maghreb Union foreign ministers is “unrelated to the royal initiative”, said the press release affirming that Morocco’s offer is “purely bilateral, while the Algerian approach is part of the revival of regional construction.”

The royal initiative for direct talks with Algeria gained worldwide praise and appreciation. It “stems from a sincere desire to create a framework for direct and inclusive bilateral dialogue to resolve all disputes between the two countries,” and to relaunch their cooperation and consult on regional challenges, said the Foreign ministry statement.

The “lethargy that the Maghreb Union has known for years, is mainly due to the abnormal nature of Moroccan-Algerian relations, which can be treated only in the framework of a bilateral direct dialogue and without intermediaries”, underlined the statement.

It also affirmed that the Moroccan government has “no objection” to holding a meeting of the Arab Maghreb Union as it is deeply committed to the construction of this regional bloc on solid foundations but looks forward to receiving an official Algerian response to the royal initiative offering to open direct dialogue to improve relations between the two neighbors, sharing the same religion, language, history and destiny.

In his speech made on November 6, King Mohammed VI reached out to Algeria saying that Morocco stands ready for a direct and frank dialogue in order to dispel the transient and objective differences that are impeding the development of relations between the two neighboring countries.

The Sovereign also suggested the setting up of a joint political mechanism for dialogue and consultation to break the stalemate in bilateral relations, affecting the Arab Maghreb Union.

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