Morocco-Algeria: The impossible reconciliation?

In recent weeks, there was only talk of a possible reconciliation between Algeria and Morocco. The summit of the Arab League in Algiers had whetted appetites for a possible acceleration of history on the rhythm of a possible visit by King Mohammed VI.

The Qatar World Cup was also the occasion for many speculations with a dream image of Prince Tamim, on his right the Moroccan Sovereign, and on his left the Algerian president.

The thrills of a summit meeting between the two heads of state would run through the regional diplomatic star. The idea that all this could lead to triggering a real dynamic of reconciliation between Rabat and Algiers, was perceived as possibly achievable insofar as King Mohammed VI of Morocco chose the strategy of reaching out to Algeria to the point of extend an open invitation to President Abdelamajeed Tebboune to come to Morocco to discuss peace and reconciliation.

Added to this bilateral atmosphere are the numerous attempts at international mediation to put an end to this quarrel between two neighboring countries, which has been going on for a long time and threatens to degenerate at any moment.

Parallel to these hopes of rapprochement between the two great countries of North Africa, there has risen an agonizing music of the Algerian regime which is investing in its armaments as if almost a hundred years were going to take place. The more we talk about peace, about the possible opening of borders, the more the sounds of boots are heard with insistence.

It is true that the hypothesis of a real war between Morocco and Algeria, in the form of a direct confrontation between the two armies, seems less plausible than the Algerian arsonists on social networks suggest. The scenario of a confrontation such as countries such as Iran and Iraq or Armenia and Azerbaijan have known, is for the moment difficult to imagine between Morocco and Algeria.

Firstly because the two protagonists show great restraint, limiting the confrontations to the political, diplomatic and media domains. Social networks have become the scene of a spectacular showdown between the two countries. And the international forums a scene where they cross swords with great intensity.

Next, the European neighborhood as well as Russia and America have no interest in a new regional explosion in North Africa for the time being. The Libyan chaos and the eternal instability in the Sahel are sufficiently distressing factors not to contain the outbreak of a new war which will have a destabilizing impact both on the European space and on sub-Saharan Africa.

Reconciliation between Morocco and Algeria seems unlikely in the near future, not for lack of Moroccan political will, but because this rupture between the two countries and the maintenance of the closure of their borders serves Algerian internal political objectives. .

The maintenance of tensions with Morocco allows the Algerian regime to feed on the myth of the external enemy towards which the hatreds and frustrations of the Algerians are directed. Moreover, it is for these reasons that in its propaganda, the Algerian regime amplifies in the ears of Algerian citizens the security dangers represented by the tripartite alliance signed between Morocco, the United States and Israel.

Although King Mohammed VI reassures Algerians that no harm will come to them from Morocco and that Algeria’s security is an integral part of Morocco’s security, this message has been rendered inaudible by Algerian propaganda which absolutely wants to cling to the specter of danger and the foreign enemy.

Reconciliation becomes a difficult undertaking because it enters into direct collusion with the interests of one party, Algeria, which benefits from the policy of permanent tension, of the rupture established over time and has no interest, for the moment, in considering a future other than that of closure and the language of war.

Because ultimately a political reality imposes itself on everyone: The Algerian regime cannot bear to have a normal, even fraternal relationship with its Moroccan neighbor. Because that supposes that he will have sacrificed his main instrument of war against Morocco, the Polisario. It also assumes that it will have abandoned all the myths of superpower and domination that it has maintained for years to establish its own legitimacy and consolidate its own existence.

For many, peace with Morocco automatically means a change of regime in Algeria, the appearance of a new culture of government and the end of the Algerian myth based on arrogance and domination.

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