The outstretched hand of His Majesty King Mohammed VI to Algeria was highly welcomed by the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, in his latest report to the Security Council on the Moroccan Sahara. Indeed, Guterres quoted, in his report, the speech of HM the King to the Nation, on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the accession of the Sovereign to the Throne of His glorious ancestors, in which HM the King reached out, once again, to Algeria and the Algerian people. In this context, the Secretary General took up passages from the royal speech to recall the assurances of His Majesty the King to the Algerians that “Morocco and the Moroccans will always stand by their side”. Similarly, the report said the Sovereign stressed that the Moroccans had a “firm will to find a way out of the current situation and to promote rapprochement, communication and understanding between the two peoples”. In this regard, Guterres highlighted the wish, once again, of HM King Mohammed VI, who “aspires to work with the Algerian presidency so that Morocco and Algeria can work, hand in hand, to establish normal relations”. In his observations and recommendations, the UN Secretary-General “encouraged the two countries to re-establish dialogue with a view to restoring their relations and to redouble their efforts in the area of regional cooperation, particularly with a view to creating an environment conducive to peace and security,” thus reinforcing, in a strong and clear manner, the hand extended by the Sovereign to Algeria. In addition, the Secretary-General recalled the visits of his Personal Envoy, which he said “took place against a backdrop of regional tensions”. In this regard, he said that Staffan de Mistura shared with his interlocutors in the region “the deep concern he had noted among members of the international community about the state of relations between Algeria and Morocco”. Also, he recalled the appeal of his Personal Envoy “to de-escalate”, concluding that de Mistura “noted with relief the assurances received from his interlocutors, particularly in Algiers and Rabat, that there was no intention of military escalation”. Guterres reaffirmed, in his comments and recommendations to the Security Council, “the crucial role of neighboring states in the search for a solution” to the issue of the Moroccan Sahara, reiterating the expression of his “concern at the deterioration of relations between Morocco and Algeria”. By endorsing the calls for the restoration and normalization of relations between Morocco and Algeria, the UN Secretary General is pointing the finger directly at Algeria’s bellicose actions and initiatives against its neighbor, Morocco, which go against all the rules of good neighborliness.
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