North Africa: Algeria Ends Diplomatic Ties With Morocco Citing 'Hostile Acts'

Rabat, Morocco.

Algeria has severed diplomatic relations with Morocco, accusing its neighbour of using Pegasus spyware against Algerian officials, involvement in deadly wildfires and failing in bilateral commitments.

"The Moroccan kingdom has never stopped its hostile actions against Algeria," Foreign Minister Ramdane Lamamra told journalists in Algiers on Tuesday.

Morocco was quick to denounce the rupture as "unjustified". In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said "fallacious" and "absurd" logic was behind the move, which it also described as "expected".

Algeria's Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra said Tuesday that his country has severed diplomatic relations with Morocco due to "hostile actions", following months of resurgent tensions between the North African rivals https://t.co/dMKAO1GwxH

- AFP News Agency (@AFP) August 24, 2021

Summer escalation

Last week Algeria's High Security Council, chaired by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, accused Morocco of involvement in wildfires that have ravaged northern Algeria, killing 90 people.

Algeria has blamed the fires on terrorist groups, one of which it said was backed by Morocco.

The disputed territory of Western Sahara has also stirred tensions over the summer. Algeria supports Polisario Front fighters seeking independence for the desert terrain, which is claimed by Morocco.

Algeria, meanwhile, claims Morocco is providing support to the MAK separatist group that is looking for independence for the Kabylie region.

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Algeria and Morocco have long had a strained relationship. While diplomatic relations have have remained in place since 1988, the border between the two countries has been closed since 1994.

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

Despite this week's diplomatic breakdown, Morocco has said it would remain a "credible and loyal partner" to the Algerian people.

Consulates in each country are to remain open.

(With wires)

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