For his 23rd anniversary as king of Morocco, Mohamed VI reached out for reconciliation with Algeria. Relations between the two countries have been strained for several months over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
"I would like to stress once again that the borders that separate the Moroccan and Algerian peoples will never be barriers that prevent their interaction and understanding.", said the monarch in a televised speech.
Rabat has been putting forward a broad autonomy plan under Moroccan sovereignty supported by many countries but rejected by Algiers backing the separatist Polisario Front.
In his address Mohammed VI asked Moroccans to preserve the spirit of fraternity, solidarity and good neighbourliness" towards Algeria, denouncing those who infused hatred between the two.
"The allegations that Moroccans insult Algeria and Algerians are the work of irresponsible individuals who go to great lengths to sow discord between the two brotherly peoples. These slanders on Moroccan-Algerian relations are totally senseless and sincerely appalling. As far as we are concerned, we have never allowed nor will we allow anyone to harm our brothers and neighbours. ", said the Alawite king.
Last year, the king had already chosen to address a message of peace to its neighbour. AN UNsuccessful attempt as in August, Algeria cut diplomatic ties with Morocco accusing it of "hostile actions".
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