Algiers rejects mediation with Morocco
Algeria-Morocco, Politics, 7/21/1998
Algeria rejected all kinds of mediation in its relations with Morocco.
Algeria does not accept "any kind of mediation" in its relations with Morocco, as long as the two countries have "all the communication channels," spokesman for the Algerian foreign department, Abdelaziz Sbaa, said in his weekly press briefing.
Relations between Morocco and Algeria soured in 1994 after Algerian-born French nationals perpetrated a terrorist attack against a luxury hotel in Marrakesh and which claimed the life of two Spanish tourists. Morocco subsequently imposed a visa requirement for Algerians and Algeria over-reacted by closing its land borders with Morocco.
Moroccan Prime Minister, Abderrahmane Youssoufi, repeatedly called on the Algerians to start a new page and end the crisis and tension prevailing in North Africa. The press also reported that some countries proposed to mediate between Rabat and Algiers, Map reported.
Responding to a question on a possible Tunisian mediation in the Algerian-Moroccan conflict, Sbaa said that as far as he knows "there is no Algerian-Moroccan conflict."
Sbaa, who noted that such a mediation idea was announced by a Tunisian daily, said Morocco and Algeria "are two brotherly and neighbor countries, bound by diplomatic ties" and consequently "there can be no form of mediation between Morocco and Algeria."
Sbaa had expressed the same position when he was reacting to a possible Libyan mediation between the two countries.
The spokesman added that there has been "no official contact" so far between the two countries and that the issue of canceling the visa requirements and opening the Moroccan-Algerian borders "was not officially submitted."
Touching on the normalization of Moroccan-Algerian relations, Sbaa said his country is attached to examine these relations within a global approach, handling all issues pertaining to bilateral cooperation.
He added that this approach proposed in 1994 was favorably accepted by Morocco.
Morocco's premier urges Maghreban leaders to end tensions in North Africa
Morocco urges Algeria to positively respond to Rabat reconciliation calls
Algeria renews backing to U.N. settlement plan for Sahara
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