Morocco's king invites Algeria's president to Rabat for 'dialogue'
Morocco's King Mohammed VI invited Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune for "dialogue" in Rabat, reported AFP. The invitation came after the Moroccan monarch decided to not attend the Arab League Summit only a few hours before the start of the event in Algiers on Tuesday.
Algeria's Tebboune had invited King Mohammed VI to the two-day summit, which opened in Algiers on Tuesday, 1 November, and the king had made public his intention to attend.
However, Morocco's Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita told AFP that Algeria had sent "no confirmation via the appropriate channels" when Moroccan diplomats in Algiers asked how the monarch would be hosted.
Morocco's foreign minister reportedly was not received with an official welcome upon his arrival to Algiers last weekend.
On Monday, Algerian foreign minister Ramtane Lamamra commented on the Moroccan king's non-attendance in an interview with the Saudi TV channel Al-Arabiya, saying his absence is a "lost opportunity".
Algeria cut ties with Morocco in August last year, alleging "hostile acts" from Rabat.
In late 2020, Morocco normalised ties with Israel and established security and military cooperation with Tel Aviv; acts seen by Algeria as a threat to its interests.
The normalisation added to decades of Moroccan-Algerian mistrust fuelled by the Western Sahara dispute.
Western Sahara is a former Spanish colony seen by Morocco as an integral part of its territory, but where Algeria has long backed the pro-independence Polisario Front.
Since halting ties, King Mohammed VI has repeatedly called for reconciliation with Algeria and his desire for a return to "normal ties between brotherly peoples".
However, the Moroccan monarch has also insisted that Rabat's territorial integrity is non-negotiable.
The Algerian state, which supports the independence of the territory, did not respond to the royal initiatives at the time.
The date has not been named yet for this new meeting in Rabat, while Algiers has yet to decide between brushing aside or accepting the Moroccan kingdom's olive branch.