By Abderrazak Boulkemh and Hamdi Yildiz

ALGERIA

The president of Algeria said Saturday he would welcome an initiative to end a decades-long cold war with Morocco.

“If they think an initiative should be taken, I think that would be good. They could take an initiative, which would bring an end once and for all to this matter,” Abdelmadjid Tebboune told France 24.

“We have no problem with our Moroccan brothers, they appear to have a problem with us,” said Tebboune.

“Everything we do within Algeria domestically … thinking we have some ulterior motives, we have none, no ulterior motives against our brothers in Morocco or the king of Morocco,” he added.

Borders between the two countries have been closed for decades.

Occupied by Spain until 1975, Western Sahara — a large territory in southern Morocco — has remained the subject of dispute between Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front for more than four decades.

After years of conflict, the two parties signed a UN-backed cease-fire in 1991.

The Polisario, a national liberation movement that wants to end Moroccan presence in the Western Sahara, has long called for a popular referendum to decide the region’s political fate.

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