Evolution of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Algeria since 1962

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Evolution of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Algeria since 1962

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Evolution of Diplomatic Relations between Morocco and Algeria Since 1962


Morocco and Algeria are the two principal nations of the Maghreb when considering their population size and geographical extent. Traditionally, diplomatic relations entailed an interaction between countries; however, in another sense, it involves permanent communication and contact between sovereign nations. The manner in which the discussion takes place requires the participating countries to send a special envoy to formally deal with each other and work in each other’s nations. A diplomat is an individual who officially represents his or her government, present in another country for the determination of overall representation of the state-of-origin. Moreover, the diplomat may serve his or her country for reasons associated with precise international dialogues on behalf of his or her state-of-origin. Some of the critical duties of diplomats include refining a relationship between their host nation and their native country, trying to safeguard the best possible interest or treatment for their home nations and serving as intermediaries through relying on each state’s positions to the other.
Stora considers the partnership of Morocco and Algeria as one which constitutes the highest prospective as the engine of vibrant political and economic development in the entire region. The two countries have similarities with regards to their historical, ethnic, religious, and linguistic elements such as the Islam language, a heritage of unforgiving struggle for independence and many Berberophone minorities. In 1989, a constitutive conference involving the UMA (Union du Maghreb Arabe) was conducted in Marrakesh.
A concluding announcement of the summit involved the five countries that were present including Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania, Libya and Algeria. All the five states pledged to establish a free trade region, which would enable the free movement of persons and goods in addition to developing a unification of customs. However, in the early 21st Century, the development process of the UMA became impassably blocked mainly because of the stalemate in the Algero–Moroccan relationships which this paper considers as the hindered motor of the North African dynamics.
This paper will analyze the evolution of diplomatic relationships between Morocco and Algeria after the period of colonization in two main sections where each section is further divided into two subsections. Under the central theme, the paper shall look at the question of the battle in the Western Sahara that took place in 1963 including the 1975 Green March movement in addition to the support that Algeria gave to the POLISARIO Front, ponders profoundly on the subtle relationships between Morocco as well as Algeria. The two main sections of the dissertation will evaluate the theme of diplomatic evolution under the Sahara conflict in addition to the interests of both Algeria and Morocco in Western Sahara.
The Conflict in the Western Sahara Region
Historical Overview
Some countries in Africa particularly the Northern part developed an idea of a Greater Morocco since, before 1962; it had tried to block other countries like Mauritania from participating in the free trade that was established by UMA. However, by 1962, the notion of Great Morocco came to pass since Mauritania had already gained her independence in 1960. Additionally, the unexpected demise of King Mohammed V in 1961 had unexpectedly made Hassan II the new king of Morocco.
Facing external and internal challenges, King Hassan’s Military participated in mounting boundary clashes, small land grabs and expulsions between Algeria and Morocco beginning in midsummer of 1962. In September 1963, an outsized Moroccan force finally surrounded Tindouf. The response from the Algerian side was to capture areas around Figuig. According to Mundy, some observers have previously felt that the Moroccan conquest could have been successful if President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt did not rush to aid Algeria, given the weakness due to Algeria’s lack of experience in combat. Through the O.A.U (Organization of African Unity), Haile Selassie who was Ethiopia’s emperor negotiated n ante agreement of the status quo the following month.
While the Moroccans were able to show superior military capacity, the result was a substantial diplomatic triumph for the Algerians. The available literature has shown that such a pattern had repeated itself from time to time during the Western Sahara Conflict. In November 1963, the then Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Bouteflika made clear the position of Algeria concerning the status of its boundaries with Morocco by announcing that their borders were incontestable because Algeria had paid for them with blood during the war that is commonly known as the 1963 Sand War.
Even though the Sand War of 1963 remained to be a painful spot in the post-independent relations between Algeria and Morocco, the two administrations made efforts to stabilise their diplomatic relationships as early as 1964. Half a decade later, the two nations signed a treaty of cooperation and solidarity in Ifrane, Morocco, that led to the establishment of a border commission. Given the overdue acknowledgment of Mauritania by Morocco in 1969, Mauritania’s president, Ould Daddah, Algeria’s president Boumedienne (who captured power through a coup in 1965) and King Hassan of Morocco held a trilateral summit in 1970 in Nouadhibou. At the summit, all the three nations agreed to support the resolutions of the United Nations (UN) calling for independence of the Spanish Sahara. Similarly, another summit held at Agadir in 1973, also gave a statement backing the decolonization of Western Sahara.
By 1972, Algeria and Morocco had both agreed on a border treaty which authorised the Limite opérationnelle in addition to the joint proposal of exploiting the natural resources around the Tindouf area. While Algeria endorsed the convention, Morocco delayed doing the same. It is extensively suspected that King Hassan of Morocco directed the national concerns to Algeria as he acknowledged Mauritania to win support for his assertion on Western Sahara.
In 1974, the Western Sahara question took an unexpected turn when the Spanish provided the region (Western Sahara) with provisional independent status to be verified by a referendum as well as the option of independence. Morocco and Mauritania, springing into action, both still demanding that the Spanish Sahara was their terra irredenta, they pressed the UN General Assembly to provide an opinion from the ICJ (International Court of Justice) regarding their assertions of the historical title. The Algerian country initially did not appear to keep a distance from the seeming rejection of self-determination. Algeria’s unpredictable position during this era remained remains a theme of historical debate.
In October 1974, an Arab League summit was held in Rabat where Boumedienne supposedly offered his support to the division between Morocco and Mauritania concerning the Spanish Sahara. Furthermore, initially, Algeria did not appear to be enthusiastic regarding Polisario that was founded in May 1973 as the Algerian officials were commonly notorious for deporting their leaders on occasion. Polisario’s principal patron in the early days was Libya. At the Arab League’s congregation in April 1975, Bouteflika rejected the position of Morocco on Western Sahara, but then after the following two months, Ahmed Laraki from Morocco and Bouteflika were reportedly traveling back and forth between Algiers and Rabat to seal out a regional agreement. In July the same year, Bouteflika allegedly believed he had triumphed over the Moroccan endorsement of 1972 border, which earned him backing for the Moroccan-Mauritanian takeover.
Nonetheless, in 1975 when ICJ started hearing arguments concerning the Western Sahara question, Algeria gave very forceful opinions in favour of self-rule. Algeria even threateningly claimed the right to arbitrate in defending that principle. In October 1975, The Hague released its opinion which provided support for the power of independence over the claims of Mauritania and Morocco. Hours after this opinion was published from the ICJ, Hassan II of Morocco announced his campaigns to unveil a 350,000 solid civilian invasion into the Spanish Sahara, a move that is commonly referred to as the Green March. Following this development, the earlier ten years of the Moroccan-Algerian détente vanished to the wind. In early November 1975, Boumedienne tried to block Morocco’s invasion through pressing Spain in addition to even personally engaging in threats to Ould Daddah while the Green March was still underway.
The movement towards greater North African cooperation started during this period and was developed upon thawing diplomatic relations between Rabat and Algiers. However, such movement was only possible since the Western Sahara question was not included on the agenda. In 1976, Morocco had disembarked her diplomatic relations with Algeria after which it became the first country to acknowledge SADR (“the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic”), a Polisario’s administration that was exiled. Under President Chadli Bendjedid, summits between Morocco and Algeria were held in 1983 as well as in 1987, the latter under King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.
During the following year, 1988, Morocco appeared before the Arab League summit which took place in Algiers. After the Security Council of the UN adopted the conflict in the region of Western Sahara in 1988 in addition to the Morocco-Polisario summit of January 1989, it became more comfortable for the creation of the UMA (“Union du Maghreb Arabe”). The UMA consists of Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania and Algeria. The charter authorized the easing of visa limitations, designed to assist tourism, trade, families and migrant workers; expanded rail links; tariff eliminations or reductions; as well as the creation of a separate regional commercial airline.
While generally unclear on certain economic matters, the UMA sought a trade in agriculture and industry, while encouraging nations with specific surplus resources to trade with the countries that lacked them. Even though some thought of the UMA as an unusual movement from a vigorous political federation like the European Union, it was also projected as ultimately becoming more than just an area of free trade. For some time, it appeared that Algeria and Morocco were able to maintain the Western Sahara region on a different path from other diplomatic matters.
The UMA held multiple summits until 1994 when Algeria and Morocco again broke off their relations which resulted in closing their border. Indeed, the Algiers-Rabat détente had been one that was very troubled. A short-lived acceleration of the Morocco-Polisario war that took place the fall of 1989 caused additional charges as well as counter-charges from the two governments in addition to the allied media. However, according to Mundy, it was the problem of terrorism that untied the UMA. While Algeria’s Islamist insurgency grew more and more vicious, Algiers regularly charged Morocco with active and passive involvement in the rebellion. In the summer of 1994, a hotel in Marrakech was attacked leaving two tourists from Spain dead. This outcome led to a new hail of allegations which resulted in the closure of the border.
The UMA has endured but generally at the technical level, poked along by the EU’s Euro-Med dialogue or Barcelona Process that started in 1995. Nearly like clockwork, the conflict at Western Sahara has succeeded in undermining the revitalization of the UMA from time to time, even though the projections for a summit appeared explicitly promising in early 2005. The Moroccans had done away with their visa requirement for the Algerians and at the previous Arab League summit that was held in Algiers Mohammed VI and Bouteflika had allegedly met in private. Mohammed VI showed a warm gesture by extending his invitation to Algeria beyond the meetings. Nevertheless, the UMA summit that was set to take place in the summer of 2005 in Tripoli never occurred.
A private letter was issued from President Bouteflika to the leader of Polisario, Mohammed Abdelaziz, on Polisario‟s thirty-second-anniversary festival that declared Algeria’s unwavering backing of the self-rule in Western Sahara at the forthcoming summit of the UMA. Upon the letter’s publication by Polisario, Morocco unsurprisingly retreated.
The Conflict of the Spanish Sahara and Growth of Polisario
Formation of Polisario took place in 1973 by a group of students who were learning in Morocco and who are referred to as the Sahrawi students. According to Jacobs Polisario is a phrase that stands for “Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguia el-Hamra y Río de Oro.” The primary objective of establishing the movement was to fight against Spain which was the colonizer of Polisario. Through formulating the group, the Sahrawi students gained a lot of support from the from the Sahrawi people. In 1976, Spain withdrew as the coloniser and Polisario took over the SADR (Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic) on 27 February 1976.
As the Spanish nation was in War with the Sahrawi people and planning its ultimate withdrawal from the region, other countries were also taking great interest on the territory. Mauritania and Morocco pursued to claim the region via historical links that The Hague denied in October 1975. Undeterred, Morocco attacked the zone in the same time while Spain, confronted by the likely probability of new conflict as well as Generalissimo Franco’s illness, settled to the terms concerning the division of the Spanish Sahara between Mauritania and Morocco. Polisario’s attention was shifted towards the new landowners who involved initiation assaults on Mauritanian as well as Moroccan lands which enabled them to obtain a peace treaty in 1979 with Mauritanians finally.
However, in the 1980s, the Moroccans would ultimately recover the lands controlled by Polisario. The Moroccan administration made efforts to prevent further attacks by proceeding to create high sand walls referred to as berms which they used as defensive zones. The berms would later expand to develop divergent points between the government and the Polisario. Moreover, the expansion created the supposed free trading area of the Polisario as well as the SADR. In 1975, the Polisario affirmed an independent administration exiled from Algeria, which would later be acknowledged by seventy-five governments. Because of the recognition from the 75 countries, in 1982, Polisario obtained a sit at the OAU (Organization of African Unity). During that period Morocco left the OAU in protest and had since remained the only African country that is not part of the OAU’s successor, the AU (African Union) until last year January when it was readmitted to the AU.
Later on, Morocco and Polisario would broker a peace treaty that necessitated a subsequent vote on autonomy, self-determination or some other form of governance that could be closely monitored by the United Nations. Nevertheless, the debate concerning the voting lists between Morocco and Polisario in 1994 as well as in 2000 thwarted any potential resolution through a vote. As a result, Polisario has been significant in the attempts of Morocco to get rid of the self-determination vote from the list. According to Jacobs, within Western Sahara’s Moroccan-controlled region, there was an uprise of a movement known as the Intifada in 2005 as well as in 2010. Due to this emergency, Polisario advocated that the campaign would be the new system of protest against the Moroccans instead of engaging itself in armed battles.
James Baker who was a former Secretary of State in U.S.A and serving as a special envoy to the United Nations on Western Sahara, attempted to make the two nations reach an agreement concerning a settlement that could break off the SADR in 2003. Later on, his attempts proved to be successful as the treaty formulated an authority in the Western Sahara region, which would later be the foundation of governance for five years in Morocco. Within half a decade, the Moroccans were able to either vote for independence, assimilation or even autonomy. Despite the fact some Moroccans were allowed to illegally settle in the area beneath the support of Geneva Convention, Algeria and Polisario did not oppose to the relations, which, however, Morocco outrightly disallowed.
In 2007, Morocco presented a proposition of a new poll which could permit independence, but Polisario opposed it and instead developed its plan for a referendum. Even though the Security Council of the UN requested each side to mediate and find a solution, the process never materialized. The mission to Western Sahara still existed as part and parcel of its mandate in the Polisario and Moroccan controlled zones of the territory.
Sources of Diplomatic Rivalry between Algeria and Morocco
In this second section of the thesis, one hypothesis will be examined in attempting to gain insights into the sources of strategic rivalry between Algeria and Morocco. The premise involves the influence of Algeria on how the claims of Morocco are internationally viewed. According to Jacobs, some scholars have previously argued that the contention between Morocco and Algeria came to a standstill in 1984 because of a failure of sustained armed combat. However, as Morocco and Algeria continue to maintain and arm its existing policies concerning each other and the entire Western Sahara, the analysis in this thesis may be questioned. In approximately have a decade ago Morocco and Algeria engaged in their own arms race because of counterterrorism as well as the escalation of the al-Qaeda militant group in the Maghreb region. Even though Algeria was more directly affected by the threats from the Islamist extremists, its relations with Russia because of oil supply assisted the country to increase its buildup of arms which prompted the Moroccans to request as well as expand their arsenal from the United States, the Netherlands and finally from France.
Neither Morocco nor Algeria has recently pursued to incite the other into war. However, the increase in arms buildup, as well as the constant rivalry between Morocco and Algeria, suggests that both countries are trying to become more strategically important to the Western countries and more specifically the United States. With the continuation of the rivalry from the past to the twenty-first century, it is seen that the two nations still maintain a sheer desire for control and power. The borders are still closed between the two countries, and both nations have drawn neutral parties and allies towards their side with regards to the issue of Western Sahara. The neutral parties have been pulled from the African Union, the UN as well as the Arab League. Due to this outcome, each country remains to pursue a diplomatic policy of counterbalancing one another in addition to demonstrating a superior appearance of authority and leadership within the Maghreb.
Whereas both countries have not succeeded in going into war against one another, Algeria’s backing of Polisario permits them a delegation to utilize during the military or political conflict. Algeria’s use of the Polisario has allowed the nation to enter into a debate concerning the settlement of the dispute in the future while liberating itself from responsibility. Because the Moroccan and Algerian national rivalry has existed since the era self-rule and that both nations continue to find unique diplomatic advantages over each other because of America’s war on terrorism, it is anticipated that the rivalry could last even during times of friendlier relationships. Bearing in mind how both nations observe each other skeptically including sometimes seeing one another as a threat to national stability because of their hegemonic desires, welcoming relations could only be linked to future settlements over Western Sahara. Therefore, it is with no doubt to note that Western Sahara has been vital for exploiting the development of the rivalry amongst the two countries.
Western Sahara Interests: Morocco vs Algeria
This section of the thesis examines perceived interests including the interests of the Moroccan government concerning Western Sahara in addition to evaluating how the Algerian government has put effort to challenge the Moroccan administration’s capability to succeed. The analysis provided in this section is primarily based on the hegemonic ambitions of Algeria as well as its counter strategy towards the influence of the Moroccan government. This section has been developed on the basis of the argument that for Algeria to attain regional hegemony in the North West region of Africa, it has previously made efforts to oppose the intentions of Morocco concerning Western Sahara.
Through working against the intentions of the Moroccan government concerning the rivalry, the Algerians could then be capable of giving their voice on an international and regional level as well as strengthen their nation’s position as a leader in the Maghreb. Through being the leader, Algeria would then be allowed to raise the opinion that the country is the sub-regional hegemon within the region. The hypothesis of this second section of the paper is confirmed by critically presenting the possible objectives of the Moroccan administration concerning Western Sahara. The goals are based on what the country intends to accomplish once incorporation has been achieved either by an autonomy process or through direct integration. Furthermore, these objectives are developed based on exploration of the interest of the Moroccan administration in Western Sahara.
Every possible motive towards the final assimilation of the region shall be evaluated using both the previous as well as current information archives. An evaluation of Morocco’s current policy practices as well those of other countries can indicate how the world has reacted to Morocco’s efforts concerning exercising influence at the Western Sahara zone in addition to shifting the opinion of the world in its favour. Additionally, should the countries indicate opposition towards Morocco; this phenomenon means that Algeria is pursuing to impact the determination of the existing rivalry. This nation’s impact, as well as its role in every subject, is also evaluated in this thesis, specifically with regards to how it has successfully been able to challenge Morocco.
The hypothesis of this thesis can only be confirmed with a sign of the negative influence of Algeria concerning how the claims of Morocco on Western Sahara are seen across the globe. Nevertheless, if the outcomes indicate that Morocco succeeded in altering international and regional views on Polisario and Western Sahara, then the nation will be measured as weakening the position of Algeria in those zones. Similarly, if Algeria is seen to be capable of maintaining its initial perceptions on Western Sahara or has succeeded in limiting the assertions of Morocco concerning the region either via covert support from others or through direct action, then it would be seen as solidifying the position of Algeria.
As indicated earlier, regarding the issue of Western Sahara, both countries involved in the concern are known to be persistently attempting to limit one another. Therefore, through evaluating the cases via published information as well as known policy position will give a clear understanding of the ability of each country to promote its strategy in addition to the capability of Algeria to rise as the hegemon in the region.
Recognition of the Claims of Morocco in Western Sahara
About the recognition and on a continental level, Algeria has successfully utilized its relations with Polisario. However, since Morocco captured Western Sahara, the nation has often fought to ensure its assertions on the region are acknowledged worldwide and more so in the continent of Africa. Some portion of the challenge is due to the decision announced by The Hague, which in 1975 resolved that even though traditional links between the old Moroccan sultans and the Sahrawi existed before the French and Spanish colonization, those links were not sufficient to legitimize the claims of Morocco concerning the territory. Instead of tolerating the outcomes and hold their fire for the proposed poll over the region from Spain, Morocco directed troops as well as civilians into the Spanish Sahara where it started its process of capturing the territory. The march to Spanish Sahara forced Spain to hand over the land to Mauritania and Morocco later that year in Madrid. Since that period, Morocco has continuously been involved in rivalry not only with Polisario with regards to controlling the territory but with both Algeria and Polisario over recognition of the right to own it.
Because of its ground invasion following the ruling of The Hague Morocco has been viewed as the attacker in the state because of subjugation of the Sahrawi people in addition to its obstruction to the independence of the Sahrawi as dictated by The Hague and the United Nations. Some scholars have noted that the separation of Morocco from Western Sahara could damage the sovereignty of the country and this is the position that the United States has taken up to this very day. Several nations in the foreign community are unwilling to push for a resolution, and such a choice is made in the paramount interest of Morocco. The Moroccan administration has always been an enthusiastic collaborator of the U.S.A. The Moroccan government plays an essential balancing role for Washington in the North African region. Additionally, the position of the US concerning the area is that consenting to a Sahrawi vote on self-liberation can disrupt the Moroccan monarchy, which is a threat to a vital ally that has become more significant in the anti-terrorism war in North Africa.
In addition to America, Morocco obtains additional aid from the French in sustaining the current situation. Within the UN’s Security Council, France has often championed Morocco’s agenda particularly in ways of counterbalancing Algeria’s objectives. Consequently, it has advocated for a resolution to the rivalry that could well provide support to Rabat’s regime which is one where Morocco’s sovereignty would enable it to rule over Western Sahara as it permits self-determination for the Sahrawi. Moreover, in 2001, France was influential in successfully modifying the debate over the independence of Sahrawi and was capable of segmenting themselves in the suggested Baker Plan. This position allows the protection of Morocco from the United Nations in Western Sahara, and the French were prepared to approve the proposition of Morocco which provided details regarding the sovereignty of the region without a likelihood of independence. Nevertheless, the position has been undermined as Spain, France and the US pushed for the Moroccan administration to offer a reliable and sustainable way out of the rivalry following the failure of Baker’s second plan in 2003.
Considering Algeria, the country pursued to use Morocco’s attack as well her efforts to gain governance over the region for its gain. Even though the Moroccans look at the opposition to acknowledging its entitlement as a basis of influence from Algeria, some individuals from Algeria have emphasized there fears concerning Western Sahara. The concerns revolve around the fact that if Western Sahara is recognized as Morocco’s southern provinces, it could not only eliminate the balance of power within the territory but supplement an urge in Rabat to engage in pursuing claims towards southwest Algeria and Tindouf. Considering the fear of conflict in Algeria, the country has previously sought to contest Morocco’s assertions to the area in addition to supporting the SADR and Polisario as the genuine controller of the territory. Algeria has been highly spoken on the international arena with regards to backing the Sahrawi in addition to assisting it to gain entry into the OAU as well as its successor, the AU which Morocco pulled out from in 1984.
Additionally, Algeria has previously observed other countries acknowledge Polisario or SADR as Sahrawi’s official voice in addition to supporting the notion that Sahrawi should be independent. As indicated earlier in this thesis, in the 1970s, the position of the United Nations was that Sahrawi was the right country to take control of Western Sahara. As countries continue showing support for the UN’s position, Algeria did not directly shape this outcome but then it has successfully been capable of benefiting from the nations’ sympathies for Sahrawi as a way of undermining the aggression that is perceived by the Moroccans. Ultimately, the greatest argument that Algeria has often made against the claims made by the Moroccan administration is that there is no state apart from Morocco including the French (who are Morocco’s most influential supporters) recognizes those claims.
In 2007, Morocco created a proposal concerning autonomy. However, Polisario and Algeria openly reject that proposal mainly because it did not contain an option for impendence. Yet again Algeria, as well as Polisario, were able to find a loophole to position Morocco as the only aggressor in Western Sahara’s war. Because of that rivalry development between Algeria and Morocco, the Algerians have since been able to utilize the development against the interests of the Moroccans. While the Algerians will not press the issue beyond supporting the cause of Sahrawi, they will continuously benefit from the Moroccans’ incapacity to have their claims acknowledged with regards to Western Sahara. In that way, there is a high possibility that Algeria will be noted as the most reliable power in the Western Sahara region.
One fundamental question that this thesis sought to find out is whether there is any hope for enhancement of the diplomatic relations between Algeria and Morocco. There is a possibility for improvement for the diplomatic relations between the two nations, but the improvement may only occur in gradual terms and individual capacities. In the future, any relational improvements will be limited to cooperation over Islamist radicals as well as sharing o intelligence between the two administrations. This forecast is built on the element that in July 2017, the former Moroccan Foreign Affairs delegate (who is currently Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister), Nacer Bourita, was sent by King Mohamed VI to deliver a message to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria. The visit arose amidst an impression of diplomatic action between Morocco and Algeria that was tailed by the readmission of Morocco into the AU (African Union) in early last year.
Algeria has previously reportedly proclaimed that it had extended a specific settlement with the Moroccan administration concerning the engagement in better intelligence sharing, counter-terrorism and security cooperation. However, collaboration regarding security does not necessarily imply that the historically strained relations of two nations are going to be improved particularly the two significant contentious matters namely the problem of Western Sahara as well as the issue of closed borders.
The resolutions over Western Sahara, increase in trade as well as re-opening of the border are matters that are highly likely to be off the table for some years to come. The main reason for this phenomenon is the partiality of the Algerians explicitly concerning Western Sahara and which stands as an obstacle to any evolution of diplomatic relations between the two administrations. Even though Algeria upholds that it has nothing to do with the conflict, its ongoing support for Polisario signifies an obstacle to the complete normalization of its connections with Rabat.
It is evident that there has been no solution in sight both in the past and in the present with regards to the re-opening of the borders between Algeria and Morocco. In 1994, the borders were closed and ever since they have continued to be the most obvious demonstration of the rivalry between the twoneighborss. Furthermore, the rift between the two administrations has caused a drastic effect on tourism and bilateral trade flows.
It is essential to note that the impact of the closure of the borders is not limited to the two nations. It further worsens the already fragile regional trade cooperation that is considered being the lowest across the globe. Recent reports have indicated that Morocco receives only about 1.9 % of the total exports from Algeria while Algeria only receives about 0.9 % of the overall exports from Morocco. The reason for this outcome is the political disagreements between the two administrations which make it difficult for the trade corporation to expand. Attached to the political dispute is the fact that prospects to expand trade between the twoneighborss have never been Algerian policymakers’ most central motivation. Furthermore, the chief politicians of the Algerian administration have primarily taken advantage of the status quo in addition to vesting interest in undermining each opening to the economy.
Moreover, the future scenario concerning changes at the helm of the political system in Algeria, at a period when the health of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika continues to deteriorate and the mounting completion for his succession, will be hardlyfavourablee to improve the Algero-Moroccan relationship. Furthermore, there is a highly unlikely scenario that whoever finally emerges as Algeria’s next president will alter the structure of the regime concerning improving the diplomatic relations between the twoneighboringg nations.
This thesis has analyzed the theme of evolution in diplomatic relationships between Morocco and Algeria after the period of colonisation in 1963 up to date. Special focus has been directed to the Western Sahara question which the thesis regards as the central issue causing the existing rivalry between the twoneighboringg nations. International involvement in the conflict has also been extensively elaborated particularly the participation of the UN the Arab League as well as the United States, but the proposed resolutions aimed at solving the matter have not yet materialized. Furthermore, the borders are still closed between the two countries, and both nations have drawn neutral parties and allies towards their side with regards to the issue of Western Sahara. As at now, there is no substantive evidence indicating that in the future, question of Western Sahara and reopening of the boundaries will be resolved despite some diplomatic efforts to reach some agreements in the capacities of trade and security.
Therefore, this thesis opens a gap for further research regarding how either Algeria or Morocco will move forward towards attaining superior dominance in the Maghreb. Additionally, future research with regards to the conflict is required to evaluate how the culture and ethnicity between more Arab Moroccan population and the Berber Sahrawi might be a promoter of rivalry over the territory’s future. Even though Algeria may still be seen as a stumbling block for peace because of the rivalry with Morocco, it still views itself as a protector of self-rule rights for everyone and utilizes this belief as a method of further limiting Morocco across the global stage and in the Maghreb.

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