Algeria severs diplomatic ties with Morocco

Algeria's Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra holds a press conference in the capital Algiers, on August 24, 2021. Lamamra said that his country has severed diplomatic relations with Morocco due to its "hostile actions", a week after Algeria said it would review its relations with the neighbouring kingdom, accusing it of complicity in deadly forest fires that ravaged the country's north. (PHOTO / AFP)

ALGIERS – Algeria is severing diplomatic relations with Morocco, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra announced on Tuesday.

Lamamra read a letter on behalf of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune during a press conference held at the International Conference Center in capital Algiers, saying "Algeria has decided as of today (Tuesday) to break off its diplomatic relations with Morocco."

Algeria and Morocco has been having tense relations for decades. Their border has been closed since 1994 after Rabat started imposing visa entry on Algerian nationals following a bomb attack in Marrakesh

He added that this decision is motivated by the fact that Algeria rejects the logic of the "fait accompli" and the unilateral policies that Morocco has been taking.

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Lamamra recalled "the hostile acts" of Morocco towards Algeria since mid-July, particularly "the support given to what Morocco's ambassador to the UN called the right to self-determination of the 'valiant Kabyle people' in Algeria."

Lamamra further accused Morocco of supporting two organizations that Algerian authorities classified as terrorist groups, namely the  Movement for the self-determination of Kabylie and the Movement of Rachad.

The foreign minister also recalled Morocco's involvement in the so called "Pegasus espionage operation" which targeted a number of countries, including Algeria, as well as some past incidents.

"For all these reasons, Algeria has decided to break off diplomatic relations with Morocco," concluded the Algerian top diplomat.

This decision comes a week after President Tebboune stated that relations with Morocco should be reviewed.

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Algeria and Morocco has been having tense relations for decades. Their border has been closed since 1994 after Rabat started imposing visa entry on Algerian nationals following a bomb attack in Marrakesh.

The lasting diplomatic stalemate is mostly provoked by the disagreement between the two nations over the disputed area in the western part of Sahara.