Algeria immediately cut all diplomatic ties with neighboring Morocco from Tuesday. Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra announced this during a press conference, international news agencies and the Algerian channel Echorouk.
Lamamra, speaking on behalf of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, accused Morocco of “hostile actions”. According to Algeria, Moroccan “security and propaganda services” are waging a “mean war” against Algeria and its inhabitants. Just last week, Tebboune said “continued hostile” behavior from Morocco prompted a review of relations. Lamamra accuses Morocco of using spy software against Algerian officials, among other things.
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Algeria withdrew its ambassador to Morocco in mid-July, because of the Moroccan UN ambassador’s support for the MAK group, which wants autonomy in the Kabylie region. Algeria accuses that group, among other things, of being behind last month’s wildfires. At least 65 people were killed.
Relations between the two countries in North Africa have been bad for decades, mainly because of Western Sahara. Morocco annexed the area in the 1970s. However, the Polisario movement is fighting for independence and Algeria supports it. The leader of the movement, Brahim Ghali, resides in Algeria. The borders between Algeria and Morocco have been closed since 1994, but diplomatic ties have been in place since 1988. The consulates in both countries will remain open despite the severing of those ties.