Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

TALKING EUROPE

Nigel Farage, Leader of the UK Independence Party

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Endocrine disruptors: Is the EU doing enough to protect its citizens' health?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israelis taking bomb shelter selfies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Pavlo Klimkin, Ukrainian Foreign Minister

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Raed Fahmi, former Iraqi Minister of Science and Technology

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Germany's World Cup title

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Farnborough air show takes off but F-35 jet is grounded

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Bastille Day celebrations

Read more

  • Boules and booze: Bastille Day à la New Yorkaise

    Read more

  • In pictures: 2014 World Cup historic moments

    Read more

  • Kremlin mulls 'retaliatory strikes' after death of Russian civilian

    Read more

  • France commemorates WWI centenary on Bastille Day

    Read more

  • Paris’s Bastille Day fireworks ‘a homage to victims’ of WWI

    Read more

  • Shipwrecked Costa Concordia successfully refloated

    Read more

  • Germany defeat Argentina 1-0 to win fourth World Cup title

    Read more

  • Senegal honours the soldiers who fought for France in WWI

    Read more

  • Clashes erupt in Paris as thousands march to support Palestinians

    Read more

  • Thousands flee northern Gaza after Israeli warning

    Read more

  • Major differences remain as deadline looms in Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

Africa

Moroccan FM in fence-mending trip to Algeria

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-01-24

Morocco's new foreign minister Saad Eddine Othmani (pictured) began a diplomatic tour of Algeria on Monday to "breathe new life" into bilateral ties. It is the first visit by a Moroccan foreign minister to Algiers since 2003.

AFP - Morocco's new Foreign Minister Saad Eddine Othmani Monday began a fence-mending visit to Algeria to resolve disputes such as the neighbours' lingering row over Western Sahara.

Othmani spoke of a "common will...to breathe new life" into bilateral ties at the start of the two-day visit.

Morocco's 1975 annexation of the territory, a former Spanish colony, sparked a war between its forces and Algerian-backed Polisario guerrillas.

It is the first visit by a Moroccan foreign minister to Algiers since 2003 and Othmani's first foreign trip since he took office after legislative elections in November.

The visit at the invitation of Othmani's Algerian counterpart Mourad Medelci is also aimed at revitalising the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) comprising Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya after sweeping changes in the region last year.

"We are conscious now that there have been transformations in some UMA countries and these changes offer an opportunity to iron out differences and work towards North African integration," he said.

At a joint press conference later Monday with Medelci, Othmani said they had reached accord where the foreign ministers of their two countries would hold bi-annual meetings to evaluate bi-lateral relations.

Othmani will meet with Algeria's veteran President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Tuesday.

The border between the two countries was closed in 1994 following an Islamist militant attack in Marrakesh that Morocco blamed on the Algerian secret services.

Tensions in the border region occasionally flare, and a July clash between Moroccan border guards and armed men coming from Algeria left one soldier dead.

But relations between Morocco and Algeria have been strained for decades by the long-running dispute over the Western Sahara.

The two sides agreed to a ceasefire in 1991, but UN-sponsored talks on Western Sahara's future have since made no headway.

"Whatever the differences, it's abnormal not to have a normal relationship with a neighbouring country," Othmani's predecessor Taeib Fassi Fihri said in November following talks with Medelci on the sidelines of an Arab League meeting in Rabat.

Date created : 2012-01-24

  • ALGERIA

    Algeria's Bouteflika sacks head of state energy firm

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Remembering the Paris massacre 50 years on

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)