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06ALGIERS1418 2006-08-02 16:28:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Algiers
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1. (U) President Bouteflika's statement of congratulations
to King Mohammed VI of Morocco on the seventh anniversary of
the King's enthronement (Ref A) was widely reported in the
Algerian press July 30. In his message, Bouteflika
reiterated his steadfast determination to work with the
Moroccan King to build bridges of cooperation and
brotherhood, bringing bilateral ties to the highest level in
order to serve the common interests of the two brotherly
peoples, who are bound by a common history and future
challenges. "We hope that we will work hard to build this
future so that the coming generations will enjoy affluence
and prosperity," wrote Bouteflika, who called for
strengthening the ties of solidarity and integration, which
would enable the two peoples to face "the challenges of our
time, its changes, and difficulties."



2. (U) Separately, the Polisario Front issued July 30 a
statement rejecting King Mohammed VI's call for granting
autonomy to the Western Sahara within a framework of Moroccan
national sovereignty (Ref B). The Polisario Front provided
Embassy Algiers a copy of the statement August 2. In the
statement, issued in Arabic, the Polisario Front:

-- Reiterated its condemnation of the intransigent Moroccan
position on the Western Sahara;

-- Condemned the systemic and brutal repression and flagrant
human rights violations committed by the Moroccan authorities
against Sahrawi citizens;

-- Called for Morocco's lifting of the military and media
blockade of the Western Sahara and the UN's provision of
urgent and necessary mechanisms to protect Sahrawi citizens;

-- Rejected all approaches to a solution of the Western
Sahara issue outside the framework of international law and
reiterated the rejection of all maneuvers aimed at
encouraging the Moroccan status quo in Western Sahara; and

-- Reiterated its attachment to UN resolutions calling on the
international community to step up pressures and impose
sanctions on the Moroccan government to convince it to
implement urgently these resolutions, especially the
legitimate right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination
through a free, fair, and just referendum.



3. (C) Algerians, perhaps taking their cue from Bouteflika's
positive message, attended the Moroccan Ambassador's
reception in Algiers in honor of the seventh anniversary of
King Mohammed VI's enthronement in large numbers. FM
Bedjaoui was the highest ranking official known to the
Embassy to have attended. That said, MFA sources have told
us that Bouteflika's statement should not be read as a green
light for improved relations with Morocco absent positive
movement on the Western Sahara issue. The statement issued
by the Polisario was not unexpected, especially in advance of
the unveiling of Morocco's autonomy proposal.