Morocco Algeria: The “Extended Hand” of H.M King Mohamed VI \ Newslooks \ Washington D.C \ Opinion A “Serious” Diplomatic Perspective on Achieving Peace with Algeria
On the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the Throne Day, His Majesty King Mohamed VI made a “serious” and intelligent appeal to the Algerian leadership to settle misunderstandings between Morocco and Algeria.
In His Majesty’s last three speeches on the occasion of the Throne Day, each speech was divided into six sections. The first four sections are reserved for internal affairs, revealing His Majesty’s vision for the coming years regarding the socio-economic development of the country, which is closely linked to stability and peace. The fifth section, however, focuses on international affairs and highlights His Majesty’s vision for international relations. It is in this section that His Majesty’s “extended hand” is a true call to improve relations with Algeria. Metaphorically, an extended hand signifies an offer of peace and friendship. The symbol of the extended hand, addressed by His Majesty Mohamed VI to Algeria, reflects his repeated offers of dialogue and peace.
On Saturday, July 31, 2021, His Majesty King Mohammed VI delivered a speech to the nation on the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of the Sovereign’s accession to the throne of his glorious ancestors. In parallel with the development initiatives carried out at the internal level, and with equal determination, Morocco is committed to continuing its sincere efforts to consolidate security and stability in Africa, Euro-Mediterranean region, and the Maghreb. His Majesty King Mohamed VI “extended hand” is a sign of peace and hope to Algeria, a key point of this year’s Throne Speech. With great height, King Mohammed VI calls for overcoming past disagreements and looking to the future, in the interest of both peoples and Maghreb unity. His Majesty says that the maintenance of the closure of borders between Morocco and Algeria, one of their points of contention, is a moral and political responsibility that rests on the shoulders of the current political leaders. This situation is contrary to natural law and existing multilateral conventions. The union of their forces is the true path, that of wisdom and the superior interests of both countries. If His Majesty the King Mohamed VI addressed the Algerian president in a calm tone, proposing to work together without conditions to establish bilateral relations based on trust, dialogue, and good neighbourliness, the Algerian president did not reacted to his speech and released an intense media propaganda campaign, preventing the initiation of peace and a new beginning at an early stage.
Morocco is tirelessly seeking appeasement and reconciliation with Algeria. Saturday 30th of July 2022 His Majesty King Mohamed VI gave a speech on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the Throne Day. In the fifth paragraph of the speech, His Majesty King Mohamed VI restates the kingdom’s will and commitment to establish good relations with Algeria. Explicitly, His Majesty “extends his hand” to show his aspirations to work with the Algerian presidency to establish normal relations between the two brotherly peoples, united by history, human ties, and community of destiny. In His Speech, the Sovereign reiterates his wish for the borders to become bridges allowing Morocco and Algeria to access a better future and offer a beautiful example of harmony to other Maghreb peoples. In fact, the borders between Morocco and Algeria should not prevent interaction between the two countries. Instead, they should become bridges for a better future and an example of harmony for other Maghreb countries. Furthermore, His Majesty urges Moroccans to preserve the spirit of fraternity, solidarity, and good neighbourliness towards the Algerians. He assures them that Morocco will always stand by their side. As a response to His Majesty’s “extended hand”, Algeria chose to respond through the Algerian Army magazine “Al Djeich” which categorically rejected the Sovereign’s extended hand while taking up Algeria’s old narratives on the Moroccan Sahara issue.
On July 29, 2023, His Majesty King Mohamed VI extends an offer of reconciliation to the Algerian leadership in an effort to improve bilateral relations and resolve any misunderstandings between the two nations. The “extended hand” is a gesture of goodwill that demonstrates again the commitment of His Majesty to finding common ground and fostering cooperation between Morocco and Algeria. On the occasion of the 24th anniversary of Throne Day, His Majesty King Mohamed VI states in his speech that “seriousness” is the cornerstone of an integrated approach that subordinates the exercise of responsibility to the requirement of accountability and upholds the rules of good governance, the value of work, merit, and equal opportunities. “Seriousness” and dedication are the main sources of the national development dynamic that has now reached an advanced stage of maturity. At the regional level, the Sovereign also inscribes the concept of “seriousness” by reiterating the Kingdom’s deep and sincere aspiration for better relations between Algeria and Morocco, with a return to normalcy and reopening borders between the two countries. Peace and development are indeed inseparable.
Officially, Morocco has not interrupted diplomatic relations with Algeria and has proposed to reopen the borders by “extending its hand” many times to the Algerian leadership. The speeches of His Majesty King Mohamed VI are congenial and make a very friendly proposal towards Algeria, calling for the restoration of diplomatic relations and even calling for the reopening of the country’s borders, which have been closed since 1994. Each time, His Majesty King Mohamed VI is in the position of the one who “extends his hand”, of the one who wants to reconcile, something that is replicated in his speeches. His Majesty repeatedly assures in his speeches that no harm will touch Algerians from Morocco. On a diplomatic level, His Majesty King Mohamed VI displays intelligence and frankness, reflecting his “serious” approach to resolving the crisis between Morocco and Algeria. By “extending his hand,” His Majesty has repeatedly demonstrated his willingness to reconcile with Algeria and de-escalate tensions in order to return to normal relations.
A comparison of the management of the crisis between Morocco and Algeria reveals distinct approaches adopted by the two nations. On one hand, the Moroccan monarchy, under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohamed VI, demonstrates a conciliatory stance towards Algeria. His “extended hand” is interpreted as an offer of reconciliation to improve bilateral relations. On the other hand, Algeria is perceived as adopting a more aggressive and negative stance towards Morocco, with its leadership often portraying Morocco as an “enemy” in their rhetoric. This contrast in behavior between the two nations highlights the complexities of their relationship and the challenges that lie ahead in resolving their differences. As it is the case with the previous speeches, official Algeria will not respond to the offer of an “extended hand”, as expressed in His Majesty’s last speech. Algeria would remain silent. In reality, this inertia expresses the doubt and embarrassment in which the Algerian regime is submerged.
Hopefully, the Moroccan posture may eventually compel the Algerian regime to change its position if it wishes to effectively manage its crisis with Morocco. To do so, Algeria must move beyond its current posture of aggression and accusation and engage in constructive dialogue with Morocco. It is imperative for Algeria to capitalize on the opportunity presented by the “extended hand” offered by His Majesty King Mohamed VI. By engaging in constructive dialogue, the two nations can identify areas of mutual interest and work towards fostering cooperation and collaboration.
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