Algeria cuts ties with Morocco, is angry with Lapid

Algeria severs ties with Morocco due to "hostile actions", blasts "aggressive message" against it by Minister Lapid when he visited Rabat.

Ido Ben Porat ,


Algeria announced on Tuesday that it is severing its diplomatic relations with its neighbor, Morocco, over "hostile actions" on the part of Morocco.

Algerian Foreign Affairs Minister Ramtane Lamamra announced the move at a press conference in which he read a statement on behalf of the Algerian President. Lamamra criticized Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who during his visit to Morocco earlier this month made statements against Algeria.

Lamamra said that Lapid sent an "aggressive message" from the territory of one Arab country against another Arab country. He claimed that Morocco's Foreign Minister is inciting Israel against Algeria and is behind Lapid's remarks.

Despite the severing of ties, the Algerian Foreign Minister stated that consular services would remain open for nationals of either side.

At the inauguration of the Israeli diplomatic mission in Rabat, Lapid said that he had expressed concern to the Moroccan Foreign Minister about the role that Algeria plays in the region and its rapprochement with Iran. Lapid also mentioned that Algeria is campaigning against Israel’s acceptance as an observer state for the African Union.

"It has been historically proven that the Kingdom of Morocco has not for one day stopped carrying out hostile actions against our country since independence," Lamamra claimed, pointing to evidence of cooperation between terrorist groups and Morocco.

Morocco and Algeria have had poor relations for decades, with Algiers backing the armed Polisario movement that seeks independence for Western Sahara.

In December, the head of Algeria's largest Islamist party labeled Morocco's Prime Minister Saad Eddine El-Othmani a "traitor" over his country’s decision to normalize ties with Israel.

Algeria, like many Muslim states, also does not have relations with Israel. In April of 2018, an Algerian court sentenced eight people to 10 years in prison over espionage for Israel.

Last week, Algeria blamed two groups it recently designated as terrorist organizations, including one it claims was backed by Morocco and Israel, for devastating wildfires that hit the country this month.