Algeria closes its airspace to Moroccan planes

Algeria announces it has closed its airspace to all Moroccan planes, cites "provocations and hostile practices".

Elad Benari ,

Algeria
Algeria
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Algeria announced on Wednesday it has closed its airspace to all Moroccan planes due to "provocations and hostile practices", AFP reported.

The Algerian presidency said in a statement that the decision had been made "to shut its airspace immediately to all civilian and military aircraft as well as to those registered in Morocco."

The decision was announced after a meeting of the High Security Council chaired by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

The presidency said the meeting examined the situation on Algeria's border with Morocco and took into account "the continuation of provocations and hostile practices by Morocco", without providing details.

The announcement comes a month after Algeria announced that it is severing its diplomatic relations with Morocco over what it called "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.

Algeria later threatened to divert all its Spain-bound natural gas exports via an undersea pipeline that bypasses Morocco.

Morocco has called the severing of ties "completely unjustified" and said the decision was based on "false, even absurd pretexts".

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

Last 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.



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