Morocco calls for reopening of land border with Algeria

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Morocco Thursday expressed its willingness to reopen the land border with Algeria, closed since 1994, and a return to normal relations between the two neighbours.

In a statement published in Rabat, the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation said Morocco “calls in brotherly friendship and full sincerity for normal bilateral relations and the reopening of the border between the two countries”.

“Morocco reiterates its will to open a new page in relations between the two neighbour countries, taking into account their common past and shared destiny,” the statement added.

The land border between the two countries was closed in 1994, following an attack by Islamic terrorists against the Atlas Asni hotel in Marrackech, southern Morocco.

Rabat had blamed the attack on the Algerian secret services.

Consequently, Morocco decided to impose entry visas on Algerian nationals, while Algeria decided to close their common border.

In 2005, Morocco reversed its decision to impose visas, but the border is still closed even though the two countries have normal diplomatic relations.

Relations between Algeria and Morocco are further soured by the Western Sahara issue.

Morocco is accusing Algeria of supporting the Polisario Front, which is fighting for independence in Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony annexed by Morocco in 1975. Panapress.

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