Othmani says Morocco-Algerian ties better than in the past

Moroccan PM says priority for new Algerian government, after parliamentary and presidential elections, will be to open borders between two neighbouring countries.

The border between the two countries has been closed since 1994

CASABLANCA – Morocco’s Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani, described the Morocco-Algerian relations as better than in the past, during an Iftar organised in honour of several journalists.

It was Othmani’s first personal opinion on the ties between the two neighbouring countries since Algeria plunged into a political crisis following the resignation of ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika last month.

Othmani said that relations between the two countries “can only be better”, especially since the former Algerian regime has always been hostile to Morocco.

He said Morocco will probably find points of agreement with the new military-led Algerian authorities.

“The priority for the new Algerian government, after the parliamentary and presidential elections, would be to open the borders between the two neighbouring countries,” said the PM, insisting that Algeria needed this solution more than Morocco.

The border between the two countries has been closed since 1994 after Morocco began imposed travel visas on Algerians following a terrorist attack on Atlas Asni Hotel in Marrakech.

Algiers responded to the move by unilaterally closing its border with Morocco.