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The "outstretched hand" of Mohammed VI to Algeria, from words to deeds?

On Saturday, the King of Morocco said he wanted peaceful relations with Algeria. But how does the sovereign intend to act after this promising speech?

"We aspire to work with the Algerian presidency so that Morocco and Algeria can work, hand in hand, to establish normal relations between two brother peoples ". During his speech on the anniversary of his accession to the throne on Saturday evening, the King of Morocco Mohammed VI reiterated, a year after having first addressed Algiers, that it was necessary to reconnect with the country. neighbour.

After a very social first part of the speech, devoted to his country, the monarch made a point of emphasizing “once again that the borders which separate the Moroccan people and the brotherly Algerian people will never be barriers preventing their interaction and their understanding. Our wish is that these borders become bridges allowing Morocco and Algeria to access a better future and to offer a fine example of harmony to the other Maghreb peoples”.

“Finding a way out of the current situation”

Mohammed VI pledged to "find a way out of the current situation and to promote rapprochement and understanding between the two peoples", before denouncing "irresponsible individuals who strive to sow discord between the two brotherly peoples". .

"Once more" in the words. But what about actions? On the Algiers side, of which relations with Rabat have been extremely tense since August 2021, we listened to the Moroccan sovereign's speech with attention.

The Algerian press, like the TSA, retains "sweet" remarks and recalls that a speech of the same tenor, held in 2021, had "not prevented the continuation of the 'hostile acts' of Morocco which led to the severance of relations between the two countries" at the end of last year.

Questioned by the Algerian newspaper, former minister Abdelaziz Rahabi believes that the declaration of Mohammed VI “cannot represent a diplomatic event nor open up prospects”. “Tradition and international usages recommend that goodwill or an offer of dialogue be preceded by consequence measures, qualitative and commensurate with the declared objective”, he continues.

A speech addressed to the Algerian people rather than to the leaders

Because in fact, the last few months have been the occasion of tense exchanges between Algeria and Morocco. In June, after African migrants had died on Moroccan soil while trying to reach Melilla, the Moroccan press had denounced "the culpable laxity of Algiers which practically let these migrants through".

For the former Algerian ambassador to Spain, Abdelaziz Rahabi, the King of Morocco's speech would be a way of giving Rabat a good role: "Once again, he makes Algeria responsible for the failure of Maghrebian construction, the poor state of bilateral relations and seeks to accredit the feeling of a Morocco victim but willing to dialogue".

The form of the speech is therefore commendable. But the bottom, him, was only little evoked. Because ultimately, the real reasons for the disagreements between Algiers and Rabat were not mentioned by Mohammed VI. However, indicates a wise observer of the Algerian news, "if Morocco wants to take a step towards Algeria, it will have to review its position on Western Sahara and on the normalization of its relations with Israel". We are, for the moment, quite far from it… Especially since the speech of Mohammed VI was addressed to the Algerian people more than to its leaders.

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