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Morocco calls on Algeria to cooperate in the fight against drugs

The Moroccan government called on Algeria to cooperate in the fight against drug trafficking across the Algerian-Moroccan border, rather than directing charges against Rabat which hamper efforts in this field.

This came in a statement issued by the Moroccan government yesterday in response to Algeria's statements about seizing quantities of drugs that entered the country through Morocco.

"Algeria has for a long time made accusations against Morocco," a practice that detracts from Morocco's efforts to fight drug smuggling across the border, the authorities in Rabat said. Morocco considers the Algerian accusations "incomprehensible" in light of the fact that Algeria is chairing the Arab Maghreb Union's subcommittee on combating drugs.

"Instead of taking an initiative and calling for a meeting for this committee to work on unifying the collective efforts of the countries in the region, the Algerians chose an approach that only results in undermining Morocco's efforts."

The Moroccan government also expressed its regret for the lack of communication and meetings between Moroccan and Algerian officials with regards to ways to fight drug trafficking.

"Unfortunately, as of yet, there has been no communication, meetings or exchange of information between Algerian and Moroccan officials… In the absence of communication between the two states, how can they effectively and efficiently combat the criminal networks active on both sides of the border?"

The Moroccan government further stated that "Algeria's position reflects a political choice that stems from the Algerian authorities' conviction to maintain the status quo, which only serves the interests of the criminal networks."

"It is no secret that the smuggling of cigarettes from Algeria is the primary source of funding for criminal networks, including terrorist networks that are active in the Sahel region."

"Algeria remains the largest source of hallucinogenic tablets known for their serious effects on the health and security of citizens."

The statement also noted that the since the beginning of the current year, the Moroccan security sector has confiscated more than 143,000 units of hallucinogenic tablets, noting that "2013 has seen the confiscation of more than 450,000 hallucinogenic tablets. This prompted the Moroccan authorities to intensify their efforts in combating this phenomenon, which is coming from Algeria."

Rabat also called on the Algerian authorities to engage in "a constructive approach that aims to combat cross-border crimes, especially drug trafficking".

"In all cases," the statement added, "Morocco, as a responsible country, will remain open in its methodology for dealing with this phenomenon."

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