Opening of Moroccan-Algerian borders an economic and human need
Morocco-Algeria, Politics, 8/10/1999
The Moroccan minister in charge of the government's general affairs on Monday called the opening of Moroccan-Algerian borders an economic and human need.
The opening of borders is not only a strong signal of the two states' will to overcome problems but also an economic and human need, Ahmed Lahlimi told Algerian Al-Watan daily.
In his interview with Al-Watan daily, Ahmed Lahlimi underlined that the closure of borders unfairly separated families. "The role of governments is not to impose unfair sacrifices to their populations, but rather to make them happy."
Morocco and Algeria are doomed to normalize their relations if they want to have a place in a new world environment marked by tough competition, he said.
"We live in an era of large groupings," Lahlimi said, adding that Maghreban countries perfectly know that negotiating individually with Europe is detrimental to them all.
Lahlimi also hailed the participation of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in the funeral of the Late King Hassan II, who passed away last July 23.
Bouteflika's presence in the funeral of the Late monarch is a sign of hope that was hailed by all the components of the Moroccan public opinion.
To a question on Bouteflika's statement to accept the results of the self-determination referendum which the United Nations is planning to hold in the Sahara, Lahlimi said Morocco adopts the same position. He further voiced hope that the referendum will enable all Sahrawis to vote freely.
Meanwhile, Abdelaziz Bouteflika said on Monday that King Mohammed VI is one of the key warrants of the continuity of sound relations between Morocco and Algeria.
Contacts undertaken between Morocco and Algeria before the demise of King Hassan II last July 23 paved the way for understanding and the exchange of views, Bouteflika told the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat daily.
"I was happy to note that the late king had informed his son and Crown Prince of the details of our talks, even regarding most specific issues that nobody knew, except the two of us," Bouteflika said.
Touching on the UMAs' reactivation prospects, Bouteflika said for Algeria, the union is not a mere luxury or an option. It is rather an inevitable destiny, he said, adding that the current context is favorable and incites us to succeed this experience.
The Algerian president voiced belief that Morocco is entitled to play a positive role in the construction of the Maghreban Union. Bouteflika added that he had told King Mohammed VI that "the best homage to pay to his late father is to pursue what had already been agreed upon regarding UMA."
Moroccan - Algerian summit shortly
Bouteflika will honor the understanding with King Hassan on Sahara
Morocco profoundly grateful to Algeria's Bouteflika
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