Moroccan King Mohammed VI congratulated Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on his election and called on him to open a new page in the two countries’ relations based on mutual trust and constructive dialogue.
“After your election as President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, it is with great pleasure I express to you my sincere congratulations, with my best wishes for you to succeed in your noble mission,” the King of Morocco said in a cable.
The borders between Morocco and Algeria have been closed since 1994, amid political differences between the two countries, most notably over the Western Sahara issue.
The conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front over Western Sahara started in 1975, after the Spanish occupation withdrew from the region, and then escalated into an armed confrontation between the two sides, which ceased in 1991 with the signing of a UN-sponsored cease-fire agreement.
Rabat proposes an expanded autonomous administration under its sovereignty, while the Polisario calls for a referendum to determine the fate of the Sahara, a proposal supported by Algeria, which is home to tens of thousands of refugees from the region.
Last Friday, Algeria’s Independent Authority for Elections announced the winning of former Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune in the first round of the presidential elections with 58.15% of the votes, outpacing his four rivals.