Several Moroccan Parties Attend Algerian Socialist Forces Front Congress
Algeria-Morocco, Politics, 5/29/2000
Several Moroccan political parties attended the 3rd congress of the Algerian Socialist Forces Front (FFS) held last week in Tipaza, 70 km west of Algiers.
The Moroccan parties represented at the congress included the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), the Istiqlal Party (IP) and the Organization for Democratic and Popular Action (OADP).
The USFP delegate, Nouzha Chekrouni, voiced appreciation, in the address she made before the congress, for the positive signs auguring the restoration of a brotherly climate between Morocco and Algeria and said this new phase should lead to a "final settlement of all pending issues."
This new climate will create the appropriate conditions for the implementation of the UN settlement plan on the Sahara, she insisted, renewing Morocco's attachment to a definitive solution to the Sahara issues.
The United Nations is trying to hold a referendum in the Sahara --a Moroccan southern territory that was formerly under Spanish rule and that was retrieved by Morocco in 1975 under the Madrid accords. An Algerian-backed guerilla movement, the polisario, is claiming the independence of the territory.
The referendum, which will give the people of the Sahara a choice between independence and integration with Morocco, has been repeatedly delayed because of the maneuvers of the polisario, which seeks to shrink the voter's list.
Chekrouni-- who is secretary of state for the disabled in the USFP-led coalition government-said Morocco expects the UN to see to it that the identification process of would-be voters be based on justice and equity and not on exclusion.
She stated further that her party has always considered "the Sahara as a junction between Morocco and Algeria, a junction that is likely to foster friendship and harmony between the two peoples rather than divergence," she said.
All the problems of the Maghreb region can find a solution through genuine democracy, the USFP delegate said, insisting that the Maghreb community can be "an economic and social force" able to energize partnership at the Mediterranean scale.
After she recalled that King Mohammed VI firmly believes in the large Maghreb and spares no effort to enhance relations between Morocco and Algeria, she renewed the determination of her party and of Morocco to promote understanding and positive exchanges between the two countries, in order to lower difficulties and overcome the pre-conceived ideas likely to tarnish bilateral relations.
The Congress that was attended by more than 1,200 militants re-elected Hocine Ait Ahmed chairman of the FFS.
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