Does Algeria intend to bury the hatchet with Morocco?

An emissary of Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune handed, on Tuesday, September 27, in Rabat a letter of invitation to the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, to attend the Arab League summit scheduled for early November in Algiers, in a climate of strong tensions between the two Maghreb rivals on the question of Western Sahara.

The Algerian Minister of Justice, Abderrachid Tabi, "delivered the letter of invitation addressed to His Majesty King Mohammed VI (...) to attend the work of the Arab summit, scheduled for November 1 and 2, 2022 in Algeria", according to a press release from the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On the instructions of the Alaouite sovereign, Abderrachid Tabi was received in person by the head of Moroccan diplomacy, Nasser Bourita.

The Moroccan side, however, did not disclose who would represent the Cherifian kingdom at this Arab League summit in Algiers.

On September 12, the pan-African magazine Jeune Afrique, citing "very well-informed" sources, affirmed that Mohammed VI "will personally take part" in the 31st summit of the Arab League in his capacity as head of state of the Cherifian kingdom.

But this information has not been officially confirmed.

Other Moroccan press articles have since mentioned the participation of the head of government Aziz Akhannouch and Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Relationships at half mast

The stakes are all the more significant as relations between the two Maghreb heavyweights are at their lowest.

Algeria severed diplomatic ties with Morocco in August 2021, accusing Rabat of "hostile acts".

A decision described as "completely unjustified" by Rabat.

Last July, Mohammed VI reiterated his outstretched hand to Algeria, aspiring "to work with the Algerian presidency so that Morocco and Algeria can work hand in hand to establish normal relations between the two countries. ".

But any thaw in the situation stumbles on the question of the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

The status of this former Spanish colony has pitted Morocco against the Sahrawi separatists of the Polisario Front, actively supported by Algiers, since the 1970s.

Rabat, which controls nearly 80% of this territory, has made it its national cause and advocates an autonomy plan under its sovereignty to settle the conflict, while the Polisario is calling for a self-determination referendum under the aegis of the UN.

With AFP

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