Sahara: between Rabat and Algiers, Washington already Made a Choice

PA-USA-Maroc-visite1Washington made its choice regarding its geo-strategic alliances in the Maghreb long time ago when it declared Morocco a strategic ally.
In the Western Sahara conflict opposing Morocco and Algeria, Washington has also expressed its standpoint when it repeatedly described as “serious, realistic and credible” the autonomy plan proposed by Morocco to settle once and for all this long lasting territorial dispute.
It is worth recalling that some 300 Congressmen, from both the Republican and the Democrat parties, had sent a letter to the US President Barack Obama in which they requested U.S. support to this plan.
Although the Moroccan initiative was applauded worldwide, the Algerian Presidency carried on its maneuvers, through media campaigns and lavish spending of the accumulated petrodollars, to undermine the Moroccan proposal.
The announcement of the working visit of King Mohammed VI on 22 November to the United States at the invitation of President Barack Obama has been a real cold shower for the Algerian power.
According to a Western diplomat settled in Rabat, the royal visit which comes in the wake of the recent diplomatic and media escalation between the two North African neighbors is in itself a strong support on the part of the Obama administration to Rabat.
In addition, the postponement of the first visit the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, was to pay to Algiers and Rabat this November has stirred confusion among the Algerian ruling class and the Algerian media, said the US diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Algerians actually fear that the royal visit to Washington would be an opportunity for President Obama and his staff to further consolidate economic and especially military ties between the two countries and to renew to Morocco their support in the Western Sahara conflict, said the diplomat.
Anticipating a fruitful outcome of the visit, Algerian diplomacy and its lobbies in the United States have already deployed huge human and financial resources to try to dampen, behind the scenes, the atmosphere of the royal visit and the first official meeting between President Obama and King Mohammed VI.
According to the US diplomat, the Algerians are wasting their time and money because Washington made its choice with regard to its alliances in the Maghreb long time ago, giving Morocco the status of strategic ally and qualifying on many occasions its autonomy plan as being “serious, realistic and credible.”
Despite the pressures exerted by pro-Algeria lobbies such as the Robert Kennedy Foundation, which is generously remunerated from the Algerian regime’s slush-funds, Washington has no valid reason to change its position with respect to Morocco that it considers as a reliable ally, especially in matters of security and fight against terrorism.

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