(Algiers and Rabat) Algeria announced on Tuesday the end of diplomatic relations with neighboring Morocco, and after months of heightened tensions between these two Maghreb countries in traditionally difficult relations, “unjustifiably” accused the kingdom of “hostile actions” against Algiers.
Posted on Aug 24, 2021 at 2:42 pm Updated at 7:03 pm
Abdelhafid DAAMACHE and Kaouthar OUDHRIRI Agence France-Presse
“Algeria has decided to end diplomatic relations with Morocco from today,” said Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra at a press conference.
Mr Lamamra criticized Rabat for “never ceasing to carry out hostile actions against Algeria”.
“The Moroccan security services and Moroccan propaganda are waging a despicable war against Algeria, its people and its leaders,” he said.
In a statement released late Tuesday, the Moroccan Foreign Ministry deplored Algeria’s “totally unjustified but expected” decision, condemned a “logic of escalation” and rejected “the deceptive, even absurd pretexts on which it is based.
At the end of July, King Mohamed VI complained. the “tensions” with Algeria and called on the Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to “enforce wisdom” and “work together for the development of relations” between the two countries.
“It’s a bad decision, it’s like breaking off your relationship with the neighbor of your house,” lamented Mohamed, a Moroccan bus driver interviewed by AFP.
The traditionally difficult relationship between Algeria and its Moroccan neighbor has recently deteriorated, particularly due to the delicate issue of Western Sahara.
The normalization of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel – in return for American recognition of Moroccan “sovereignty” over the area – has further exacerbated tensions with Algeria, support for the Palestinian cause which “maneuvers” has denounced.
Algiers took very badly the words of the head of Israeli diplomacy Yair Lapid, who during an official visit on the 12th as an observer member of the African Union (AU) ”.
“Stupid allegations and barely disguised threats,” said Lamamra.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries were broken for the first time when, on March 7, 1976, Rabat cut ties with Algiers, which had been recognized by the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), which was self-proclaimed by the separatists of the Polisario Front.
“The Moroccan provocation peaked when a Moroccan delegate to the United Nations called for the independence of the Kabylia people,” said Lamamra on Tuesday, a move he described as “dangerous and irresponsible”.
In July, Algiers recalled its ambassador to Rabat for “consultations with immediate effect” after “the Moroccan diplomatic mission in New York left and distributed an official note to the member countries of the non-aligned movement, in which Morocco” publicly “and expressly supports an alleged right of self-determination of the Kabyle people ”.
During a non-aligned meeting in New York on July 13-14, Morocco’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Omar Hilale, adopted a note saying that “the brave Kabyle people deserve it”. […] to fully enjoy their right to self-determination ”.
A red line for Algiers, which stands in the way of any desire for independence in Kabylia, a Berber-speaking region in north-eastern Algeria.
The Moroccan diplomat then expressed support for Kabyle separatism in response to Algiers’ support for the Sahrawi Polisario separatists fighting against Morocco.
Already on Wednesday, Algiers accused Morocco of “hostile acts”, called “overhauling” relations between the two countries and “strengthening security controls at the western borders”. The border between Algeria and Morocco has been officially closed since August 16, 1994.
These Presidency announcements followed an extraordinary session of the Algerian High Security Council devoted to the gigantic forest fires that killed at least 90 people in the north of the country.
Algerian leaders accused the MAK (Kabylia Self-Determination Movement), an independent organization responsible for the fires and lynchings on Sept.
The Algerian High Security Council had accused both Morocco and Israel of supporting the MAK. Algiers also questioned the Islamic Conservative Rachad movement founded in London.
These two movements, bête noire of Algerian power, are illegal in Algeria, where they were classified as “terrorist organizations” on May 18th.