NEW COLD BLAST – The border between the two countries has been officially closed since August 16, 1994. Algeria accuses the neighboring Moroccan kingdom of “hostile actions”.
LCI editorial staff –
Relations between the two countries have been rather fresh for decades. Tuesday, another step was taken. Algeria announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Morocco, accusing the kingdom “hostile actions” with regard to Algiers after months of heightened tensions between these two Maghreb countries. “The Moroccan security services and propaganda are waging a despicable war against Algeria, its people and its leaders”, accused the Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ramtane Lamamra.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Moroccan Foreign Ministry regretted the decision “completely unjustified but expected” of Algeria, condemning a “escalation logic” and rejecting “the fallacious, even absurd, pretexts which underlie it”. At the end of July, King Mohamed VI deplored the “tensions” with Algeria, inviting Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune “to make wisdom prevail” and “work in unison to develop relationships” between the two countries.
Conflict in Western Sahara poisons relations between the two countries
Traditionally difficult, relations between Algeria and its Moroccan neighbor have suffered a recent deterioration due to the thorny issue of Western Sahara. Diplomatic ties had been severed for the first time between the two countries when, on March 7, 1976, Rabat ended its relations with Algiers, which had recognized the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), self-proclaimed by the separatists of the Polisario Front.
“The Moroccan provocation reached its climax when a Moroccan delegate to the United Nations called for the independence of the people of the Kabylia region”, said the Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, a move he described as “dangerous and irresponsible”. During a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, on July 13 and 14 in New York, Morocco’s ambassador to the UN, Omar Hilale, passed a note in which he considered that “the valiant Kabyle people deserve […] to fully enjoy their right to self-determination “. A red line for Algiers which opposes any desire for independence in Kabylia, a Berber-speaking region in northeastern Algeria.
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