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Date of posting : September 13, 2017

Nasser Bourita: Relations with Algeria At Standstill at All Levels

Relations between Algiers and Rabat “are at standstill at all levels”. This is the observation of Moroccan diplomat, Nasser Bourita, expressed in an interview with weekly Jeune Afrique to be published on Monday.

“No bilateral visits to Morocco for more than seven years. Coordination is at a standstill at all levels. The meetings of the Arab Maghreb Union are no longer held and the Maghreb remains the least integrated region of the continent,” he said.

Mr. Bourita also deplores diplomatic and media campaigns fierce since the announcement of the return of the Kingdom within his Pan-African family.

Describing this return to the African Union as a milestone, the minister considers, however, that it is not an end in itself. “It stems from the African policy of His Majesty the King,” he said, adding that the sovereign set targets in his speeches in Kigali (July 2016), Dakar (November 2016) and Addis Ababa (January 2017) .

“On the one hand, contributi,g to collective action for Africa. This is what we are doing: Morocco is active in all AU meetings. HM the King, who has been designated as a leader on the theme of “migration”, has already presented the proposal for an “African migration agenda” at the last summit of the Organization (July 3-4, in Addis Ababa).

Morocco has provided President Paul Kagame with a written contribution on the reform of the AU (…), “the minister said, adding that it was also a matter of making the voice of the Kingdom heard at the AU, in particular on the Moroccan Sahara.

“Indeed, since its first participation in an AU summit, Morocco has had to correct the untruths distilled for years by some parties,” says Nasser Bourita.

According to the minister, Morocco is willing to work with all countries that do not show hostility, even if they have inherited positions of a bygone era on the Moroccan Sahara.

As for Morocco’s accession to ECOWAS, the minister said that the response of the ECOWAS heads of state to the royal letter of 23 February reflected a conviction shared by the Kingdom and 15 members of the ECOWAS. Community that the accession of Morocco will be beneficial for all.

“After the political agreement, we are in the legal phase. A technical negotiation stage will follow. We are in contact with the ECOWAS Commission in the run-up to the Lomé summit (scheduled for December, “the minister added, adding that the” geographic “polemic never really held.

“The very name of Morocco, Al-Maghrib al-Aqsa, positions it in the west of Africa. In addition, ECOWAS is a REC, an economic rather than a geographical, regional community, “said Mr Bourita, adding that Mauritania was member of ECOWAS before emerging in 2000, as well as Tunisia candidate for entry into the Comesa (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa).