| 13 June 2024, Thursday |

Morocco seeks normal ties with Algeria, says King

King Mohammed VI said on Saturday Morocco hopes for a return to normality and open borders with Algeria amid severed diplomatic ties.

Borders between the Maghreb region’s two most populous nations have been kept closed since 1994, despite repeated calls by Morocco in recent years for their reopening.

Algeria unilaterally cut ties with Morocco in 2021 and halted the flow of a gas pipeline to Spain via Morocco. It later banned all Moroccan aircrafts from crossing its airspace.

Morocco considers the territory its own, but the Algerian-backed Polisario front wants to establish an independent state there.

“I pray to Almighty God for things to return to normality, and for the opening of borders between the two neighbouring, sister countries and peoples,” said Morocco’s king in a speech, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the Dominican Republic has announced recognizing Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, Rabat’s foreign ministry said on Saturday.

The Dominican Republic’s position was expressed in a letter by its foreign minister Roberto Álvarez, Morocco’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The Dominican Republic’s stance aligns it with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, which opened a consulate in Western Sahara last year.

Winning support for its rule over Western Sahara has been the ultimate goal of Moroccan diplomacy.

Some 28 other states, mostly Arab and African, have opened consulates in the territory as tangible proof of their support for Rabat.

Earlier this month Morocco won Israel’s recognition of its sovereignty claim over the territory, following a similar move by the United States in 2020. Algeria has strongly criticized Israel’s move.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat