Algeria condemns Morocco’s embassy property ‘confiscation’

Algeria condemns Morocco’s embassy property ‘confiscation’

Tumultuous diplomatic relations between Morocco and Algeria continue to create headlines and worry world leaders, given that Morocco is a staunch ally of the US and Algeria is firmly in the Russian camp.

The Algerian Foreign Ministry has issued a condemnation of a plan by Morocco to confiscate Algerian embassy properties in Rabat, as reported by Middle East Monitor on March 18th.

The Foreign Ministry denounced what it described as a “comprehensive robbery operation”, accusing Rabat of disregarding international law and violating the principle of the safeguarding of diplomatic missions. Additionally, the ministry expressed the country’s intention to appeal to the United Nations for support, and utilize all legal means at its disposal to fight against this violation of international norms.

READ: Forbes enflames situation between Morocco and Algeria

Last week, in Morocco, the country’s Official Gazette featured a decree that laid out the expropriation of three properties belonging to the Algerian Embassy, in an initiative to expand the facilities of the Moroccan Foreign Ministry.

According to Moroccan law, the government is allowed to confiscate property for public sector projects, however, the move has reignited tensions between Morocco and Algeria, two neighboring countries with a historically complicated relationship.

This new cause of friction between the two is significantly rooted in the Western Sahara dispute, a heavily contentious issue since Spain’s 1975 withdrawal. Morocco’s annexation of the territory, opposed by Algeria’s support for the Polisario Front’s independence bid, has polarized the two nations. This longstanding conflict over Western Sahara has strained relations, affecting regional stability and hindering any potential unity among the Arab Maghreb Union.

READ: RT opens office in Algeria, stays out of Morocco

Moroccan-Algerian relations have lately once again been characterized by periodic escalations including transit bans and various heated exchanges. The recent confiscation plan has fueled the fire, further complicating an already heavily antagonistic bilateral relationship which began its fall into the abyss in 2021 when the Algerians decided to halt all gas exports to Morocco through its pipeline which passes through the kingdom onto Spain.  Some analysts argue that the pressure reached fever pitch last year when Algeria was about to conduct military trials with its newly purchased Russian military equipment – a stunt which could have led to war which was cancelled at the eleventh hour when the Biden administration convinced Algiers to not go ahead with it.

Middle East Monitor/Agencies


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