The Atlantic Initiative is attracting increasing international attention

The substantial success achieved by the Moroccan Atlantic Corridor initiative, both regionally and internationally, is a significant blow to Algeria, which supports the Polisario Front for several reasons, notably seeking an outlet on the Atlantic coast.

The Spanish newspaper ‘La Razón’ reports that Morocco has achieved numerous successes with its initiative, enhancing the presence of coastal countries by convincing major powers, including the United States, of its immense value. Washington, along with other Western capitals such as Madrid and Paris, has praised the project, ultimately supporting the Moroccan initiative for autonomy in the Sahara region and completely undermining Algerian ambitions and aspirations.

This year, Moroccan forces have begun deploying in parts of the buffer zone towards the northern border of Mauritania to commence infrastructure works in the southern regions in preparation for constructing a land route connecting to Mauritania, as part of the implementation of the Atlantic Corridor initiative.

As the project progresses and Moroccan diplomatic success is unprecedented, the Algerian defense headquarters led by Saïd Chengriha and the presidency’s office receive an intelligence report warning Algerian leaders about the consequences of the Atlantic Corridor project, disrupting Algerian calculations.

The ‘Morocco Intelligence’ newspaper asserts that the project to connect the coastal countries on the Atlantic Ocean proposed by Morocco to four coastal states, namely Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Chad, will further isolate Algeria and enable Rabat to play crucial roles in sensitive files in Mali and Niger, weakening Algerian influence in the Sahel region.

The newspaper confirms that Algeria, which has engaged in diplomatic disputes with several coastal countries, especially Mali, due to what is described as a negative role in the Bamako conflict and with the Tuaregs, will have to bear sole responsibility for controlling rebel armed groups of Tuaregs, which will not be able to militarily compete with Mali and Niger thanks to the potential economic revenues they will garner from economic cooperation with Morocco.

In a desperate attempt to thwart the Moroccan initiative, the Algerian government has entered into negotiations with Mauritania to find an outlet to the Atlantic Ocean allowing it to fish in deep waters, but observers doubt the success of these endeavors as Algerian authorities insist on displaying hostility towards Morocco rather than working to strengthen good neighborly relations.

Turning towards Mauritania indicates significant Algerian concern about the Atlantic initiative, which will open up considerable development prospects for countries that join it. As all its bets rested on the separatist front, which provided it with generous financial, military support, as well as ample regional and international political cover, Algeria is currently testing the option of attracting and enticing Mauritania to open a continental outlet to the Atlantic.

Algeria views the port of Dakhla, a major project that will boost development in the Moroccan Sahara and expand Morocco’s partnerships with the European Union and the African Union, with concern, as Rabat is currently building one of Africa’s most important ports on the Atlantic facade, a port likely to become a logistical hub for coastal countries of the ocean.

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