Algeria: Tebboune on Irreversible Morocco Dispute


Despite Saudi Arabia and Iran taking steps to end their decades long conflict, which will have massive implications in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, there seems little hope that the rift between Morocco and Algeria is going to heal, given the recent comments by the Algerian president.

Algeria’s relations with Morocco have reached the point of no return, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune told Al Jazeera this week, reports Reuters.

Tebboune said that he regrets that relations have reached this low between two neighbouring countries,” stressing that the Algerian position was just a “reaction.”

“We consider Spain’s position vis-à-vis the Western Sahara as an individual position of the Sanchez Government” he said, adding that Spain “has aligned itself in the Western Sahara file with covert agendas that do not relieve Madrid of its responsibilities.”

Algeria broke off relations with Morocco in 2021 amid growing tensions over issues including the dispute over the Western Sahara, a territory annexed by Morocco in 1975. Sahrawis from the Algerian-backed Polisario Front have sought control over the region for decades.

Tensions peaked further between the North African neighbours last year following Washington’s recognition of Rabat’s sovereignty over disputed Western Sahara.

READ: Israel’s new government mulls Western Sahara deal

Diplomatic ties have also nose-dived between Spain and Algeria after Madrid reversed its decades-long stance of neutrality on Western Sahara, agreeing to back Morocco’s autonomy plan for the disputed region.

Spain’s support for Rabat’s autonomy plan in the Western Sahara, widely seen as a victory for Morocco, infuriated Algeria, which suspended a 20-year friendship treaty with Spain and warned it could cut the flow of natural gas even as it forges closer gas ties with Italy.

The disputed status of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony considered a “non-autonomous territory” by the United Nations, has pitted Morocco against the separatist Polisario Front since the 1970s.

Rabat, which controls nearly 80 percent of the territory, is pushing for autonomy under its sovereignty.

The Polisario Front, however, wants a UN-sponsored referendum on self-determination.



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