Algerian leader: Morocco is our brother, not enemy

AP News
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Posted: Apr 17, 2011 3:09 PM
Algerian leader: Morocco is our brother, not enemy

Algeria's president says there are no problems between his country and neighboring Morocco, burying with words at least years of tensions over the disputed Western Sahara territory.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika, on a visit to the border city of Tlemcen, said Sunday that "Morocco is a neighbor and brother. We must cooperate."

Bouteflika said the Western Sahara issue which has divided the two North African nations since 1975 "is a U.N. problem."

Morocco, which has laid claim to the vast territory, wants large autonomy for the region while Algeria wants a referendum by the region's natives whom it supports in southern camps.

Differences between the two countries have compromised efforts for regional integration in North Africa and at one point nearly brought the two to war.