Dec 3 Morocco's late King Hassan told fellow
north African leaders in 1990: "Our aim is to turn the Arab
Maghreb into one country with one passport... one identity and a
But each step towards unity has proved transient: the
Morocco-Algeria frontier remains closed as tensions simmer over
Morocco's presence in the disputed Western Sahara.
Following are key events in relations between regional
rivals Morocco and Algeria that affected their common border.
1844 - A series of battles between French and Moroccan
troops lead to the Treaty of Tangier in which Morocco recognises
Algeria as part of the French empire with a defined frontier.
1912 - Morocco becomes a French protectorate under the
Treaty of Fez. France shifts border westwards to place more land
within its colony Algeria. Morocco regains independence in 1956.
1963 - A two-month conflict breaks out between Morocco and
newly independent Algeria after each side accuses the other of a
creeping takeover of desert territory along 1,200-km (750 miles)
of frontier. The border is closed.
1964 - The Organisation of African Unity steps in to settle
the dispute, allowing the border to reopen.
1972 - Algeria and Morocco come to an agreement over their
common border but Morocco waits 20 years before ratifying it.
1976 - The border is closed again after Morocco's "Green
March" into Spain's former colony Western Sahara sours relations
with Algeria, which supports Saharan independence movement
1988 - Diplomatic relations between Morocco and Algeria
resume and the border reopens. Prospects for regional
integration appear to be the brightest in many years.
1994 - Morocco imposes visa restrictions on Algerian
nationals after gunmen kill two Spaniards at a Marrakesh hotel.
It blames two Moroccan fugitives who had been manipulated in the
past by Algerian military security. Algeria shuts the border.
1999 - Ties appear to improve after the death of Morocco's
King Hassan but plans to reopen the border are aborted after a
deadly attack by the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA). Algeria
says the rear bases for the attack were in Morocco.
(Sources: Reuters, University of Oxford's Oriental
(Reporting by Tom Pfeiffer)