- Views: 11264
Washington, Morocco Board News--- After 15 years of closed Moroccan-Algerian border, and after many calls to open the border by Rabat and several Arab and Western capitals, sources in Algiers say that Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has taken the decision to reopen the closed border with Morocco, after the mediation by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah that took place while he was recovering from surgery in Morocco.
Another source familiar with the issue of reopening the Moroccan-Algerian border said it was also influenced by internal calculations in Algeria. Most Algerian tourists went to Tunisia to spend their holidays, and as long as Tunisia is now in a transitional phase after the overthrow of the dictator Benali, the only other alternative tourist destination is Morocco due to its geographical proximity, in addition to the tough measures imposed by France and the other "Schengen"countries on the granting of visas to Algerians.
A tourism executive in Morocco said that Morocco could host an additional 1.5 to 2 million tourists from Algeria annually, and this could be a shot in the arm for tourism, and also revive a number of projects in the east of the country, which were damaged by the earlier decision to close the border.
On the other hand, observers do not exclude the importance of the visit by U.S. envoy to North Africa and the Middle East William Burns to the region last week that addressed the relationship between Morocco and Algeria, and the need for normalization between the two neighbors to confront the major challenges faced by both systems of governance from the outbreak of demonstrations calling for reform, led by young people in this region.