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Morocco Overland: From the Atlas to the Sahara - 4WD, Motorcycle, Van, Mountain Bike

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  #1  
Old 4 Mar 2011
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Morocco Algeria Border To Open Shortly

Just found this in the news:

After 15 years of closed Moroccan-Algerian border, and after many calls to open the border by Rabat and several Arab and Western capitals, sources in Algiers say that Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has taken the decision to reopen the closed border with Morocco, after the mediation by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah that took place while he was recovering from surgery in Morocco. Another source familiar with the issue of reopening the Moroccan-Algerian border said it was also influenced by internal calculations in Algeria. Most Algerian tourists went to Tunisia to spend their holidays, and as long as Tunisia is now in a transitional phase after the overthrow of the dictator Benali, the only other alternative tourist destination is Morocco due to its geographical proximity, in addition to the tough measures imposed by France and the other "Schengen"countries on the granting of visas to Algerians.

A tourism executive in Morocco said that Morocco could host an additional 1.5 to 2 million tourists from Algeria annually, and this could be a shot in the arm for tourism, and also revive a number of projects in the east of the country, which were damaged by the earlier decision to close the border.

On the other hand, observers do not exclude the importance of the visit by U.S. envoy to North Africa and the Middle East William Burns to the region last week that addressed the relationship between Morocco and Algeria, and the need for normalization between the two neighbors to confront the major challenges faced by both systems of governance from the outbreak of demonstrations calling for reform, led by young people in this region.

Morocco Algeria Border To Open Shortly
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  #2  
Old 4 Mar 2011
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Great news from the traveller's POV! Let's hope it works out.
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  #3  
Old 4 Mar 2011
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Good news
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Old 4 Mar 2011
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NICEEE! we will wait and see if it really happens and when. bad that the security and travel regulations are not that good right now but this step will give new travel oppurtinities!
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Old 4 Mar 2011
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This is great news, Now all we need is Libiya, Egypt and Tunisia to stableise and I can resserrect my plans to do a complete lap of the Med.
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Old 4 Mar 2011
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a short cut to timbucto then????????
hope so..
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  #7  
Old 4 Mar 2011
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Great NEWS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantastic Mister Fox View Post
This is great news, Now all we need is Libiya, Egypt and Tunisia to stableise and I can resserrect my plans to do a complete lap of the Med.
+1

Although as much as I try I simply can't help getting my hopes up to do a complete circuit of the Med Algeria and Morocco included!!!

I'm planning a trip but didn't count on Algeria, no it looks like I should.
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Old 4 Mar 2011
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I too am hopeful but the only other news I've read on this is a rehashing of the moroccoboard story.

The border reopening been mooted several times in the past but the only guy who managed to get the barriers lifted was 'Gorgeous George' Galloway who helped organise the Viva Palestina aid convoy, see Youtube video of the crossing.
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Old 9 Mar 2011
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Here in Morocco people say this is just propaganda.
Some other day...
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Old 10 Mar 2011
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Good news, but I'll believe it when I'll see it...
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Old 21 Apr 2011
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Well it may actually be true!!!!!!!!!
Read this from Bouteflika urges co-operation with Morocco (Magharebia.com) and mr Bouteflika is saying some un-believable things. Like:
Quote:
"There's no problem between Morocco and Algeria" !!!
"Morocco is a neighbour and brother. We must co-operate," he said. "No dispute with Morocco should stop co-operation with it," Bouteflika added, noting that Western Sahara "is a UN issue". !!!!!!
"We need to re-build our cultural heritage with the assistance of Moroccans, who knew how to preserve theirs, as well as with the Spaniards, who have a heritage of Andalusian history of great importance"

In early March, Moroccan Energy Minister Amina Benkhadra met with her Algerian counterpart, Youcef Yousfi. The officials discussed ways to deepen relations in the fields of energy, mining, electricity and renewable energies. They also broached the possibility of setting up a Maghreb electricity market.
Meanwhile, Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci argued that "the best area of co-operation between Algiers and Rabat is the field of security", referring to their "war on terrorism".
He explained that the Algerian-Moroccan land borders cannot stay closed forever. The time has to come, he said, for a meeting to take place to discuss the political, economic and security conditions which justify the re-opening of the borders which were closed in 1994.
Can you believe it?
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Old 21 Apr 2011
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18 Avril 2011: « Tout sur l’Algérie » avance que l’ouverture des frontières ne saurait tarder. Selon ce quotidien électronique, les autorités algériennes seraient en train de rénover, « depuis quelques semaines », les postes de contrôles aux frontières. Jusqu’a présent, aucune décision officielle n’a été prise par les deux gouvernements.

18 April 2011: "Tout sur l’Algérie" argues that open borders will not be long. According to the daily electronic, the Algerian authorities are renovating, "in recent weeks," the checkpoints at the borders. So far, no official decision has been taken by both governments.

I had several looks at the phrase "seraient en train de rénover" and I'm not sure whether it means "in process of" or "trying to", so input from a better French speaker is welcome!


Figuig a few months back—they need to pull up the weeds, give the place a splash of paint, install computers, train officials....

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Old 21 Apr 2011
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Well it says they've started fixing up the border posts!

Amazing. This will open up a whole new way of visiting the Sahara.
West of Algeria will see more tourists in a year than they've seen over the last 17.

I fancy having a 4wd stationed at Marrakech and then go down with Norwegian or Ryanair whenever I get the urge, and just start driving east as far as they'll let me go.
With or without a guide...I wonder if it will be easier getting a visa...

But then I think that this may have nothing to do with tourism and what they have in mind is only for commercial traffic and for locals?
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Old 21 Apr 2011
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Med Route

Ooooh!
I've been thinking of a late summer route UK-Italy-Tunisia-Algeria-Morocco-Spain-UK..? Throw in some dicking about in the sands and I think that could be a cracking trip!
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Old 21 Apr 2011
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But then I think that this may have nothing to do with tourism and what they have in mind is only for commercial traffic and for locals?

I think this will be the case as that is where the money is, not the hassle of a few independent foreign tourists needing visas and escorts (which are especially bad in the west).
And I am told Alg tourist ministry has une nouvelle présentation afin d'obtenir un visa, mais tous les [agencies?] rejeter cette méthode. Not sure what that means.
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