Algerian president agrees to sit down for talks with Morocco

Presidente de Argelia y rey de Marruecos

 -   Abdelmadjid Tebboune, presidente de Argelia y Mohamed VI, rey de Marruecos

After two and a half years of silence, Algeria has responded to the proposal made by King Mohammed VI of Morocco in November 2018, to engage in direct dialogue with the Algerian head of state, to address all bilateral issues in abeyance, "without prejudice or conditions". 

The Moroccan king offered the then virtual president of Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, an outstretched hand for dialogue, although in reality the destination of the proposal was to the Algerian royal power exercised by the military leadership. Subsequently, the Moroccan royal palace reiterated the proposal through direct and indirect channels. 

Algeria kept silent, and did not even declare that it was not aware of it. The then President Bouteflika was forced to resign for a fifth term, as was his intention and that of his direct political, military and business entourage, and after a confusing and hasty succession, the current head of state, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has been in office for a year and a half. However, the silence to Mohamed VI's proposal was maintained.

For the first time, the Algerian president declared on Monday to the Al Jazeera television channel that "if Morocco considers that there is a problem with Algeria, we are ready to sit at the table and talk". 

Paso de Guerguerat
Guerguerat border point

The statement of the Algerian head of state has passed somewhat unnoticed by the intensity of the news of burning topicality, such as the legislative elections in Algeria, the crisis in Libya, the popular mobilizations of the Algerian Hirak, or the case of Brahim Ghali, whom curiously the transcripts of the presidential interview to the Qatari television channel made in Arabic, do not treat him as "president of the Saharawi Republic", but as leader of the Saharawi movement Polisario Front. 

The news is of great relevance, and there is no doubt that it is the result of the discreet efforts that the great friendly and allied powers of the two countries, the USA, Russia, China and possibly France, have been making. But they are also the result of the process of affirmation of the power of the new Algerian president, who since his arrival as head of state has proposed to exercise the powers legally granted to him by the Constitution, and it seems he has succeeded: he is the head of Defense and the Armed Forces, and the first responsible for the foreign policy and the strategic decisions of the country.

As ATALAYAR already advanced at the time, Abdelmadjid Tebboune proposed to take the Western Sahara dossier away from the military, which had been managing it without discontinuity for 45 years.

Frontera entre Argelia y Marruecos
Border between Algeria and Morocco

Algeria's acceptance of dialogue with Morocco could open a new chapter in the geopolitics of North Africa and the western Mediterranean.