Algeria cuts diplomatic relations with Morocco – Reuters

ALGIERS, Aug 24 (Reuters) – Algeria cut diplomatic relations with Morocco on Tuesday, citing what it called “hostile actions” by its most populous neighbour with which it has had strained relations for decades.

Speaking at a news conference in Algiers, Foreign Minister Ramdane Lamamra accused Morocco of using Pegasus spyware against its officials, supporting a separatist group and failing in “bilateral commitments”, including on the Western Sahara issue.

“The Moroccan kingdom has never stopped its hostile actions against Algeria,” he said, announcing the immediate cessation of ties. Consulates in each country, however, will stay open, he said.

Morocco’s Foreign Ministry was not immediately available for comment but King Mohammed has called in public for improved relations with Algeria, including in a speech last month.

While the border between the two North African powers had been closed since 1994, they have had diplomatic relations since 1988 when they were restored following an earlier dispute.

Morocco has said for years it wants the border to reopen. Algeria has said it must stay shut for security reasons.

Last week Algeria said lethal wildfires were the work of two groups it has labelled terrorists, including the MAK group which seeks independence for the Kabylie region and which Algeria said was backed by Morocco, without presenting evidence.

Last month Algeria recalled its ambassador after a Moroccan diplomat in New York called for the Kabylie people to have the right of self determination.

Morocco offered to send help to combat the fires, but there was no public response from Algeria.

Relations have deteriorated since last year, when the Western Sahara issue flared up after years of comparative quiet. Morocco regards the disputed territory as its own. Algeria backs the Polisario independence movement.

The Polisario said in November it was resuming its armed struggle. In December, the United States recognised Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara in return for Rabat upgrading its relations with Israel.

Morocco has called Algeria “the real party” to the Western Sahara dispute.

“Algeria will remain firm in its positions on the issue of Western Sahara,” Lamamra said.

He also accused Morocco of using Pegasus spyware for espionage against “several” Algerian officials. Morocco has denied possessing the software.

Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed, additional reporting by Ahmed El Jechtimi, writing by Angus McDowall, editing by Catherine Evans and Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Sorgente articolo:
Algeria cuts diplomatic relations with Morocco – Reuters

User ID Campaign ID Link
d9a95efa0a2845057476957a427b0499 l-99999979 Fiasconaro
d9a95efa0a2845057476957a427b0499 l-99999994 Email Marketing
d9a95efa0a2845057476957a427b0499 l-99999996 Service for LMS
d9a95efa0a2845057476957a427b0499 l-99999993 High Pagerank Service