“From today, Algeria has decided to cut diplomatic relations with Morocco,” Algerian Foreign Minister Ramadan Lamamra said at a press conference on Tuesday.
“Morocco has never stopped its hostile action against Algeria,” he added.
Amidst the ongoing heat wave, devastating ground fires broke out in Algeria on August 9th. Tens of thousands of hectares of land have been burned and at least 90 people have been killed in the fires, including more than 30 soldiers.
The Algerian authorities claim that most of the fires broke out, thus directing some of the responsibility towards Morocco.
The accusations denied by the neighboring country. The Moroccan Foreign Ministry wrote in its response that it considers Algeria’s actions completely unjustified and that the decision is based on false and absurd pretexts.
However, the conflict over the fires is just the latest in a series of divisions between the two countries, which have had a tense relationship for decades. Governments accuse each other of supporting opposition movements in each other’s countries, with Morocco angry that Algeria supports separatists in Western Sahara – occupied by Morocco – while the Algerian government is angry at its neighbor’s involvement in internal disputes.
“Moroccan provocation reached its climax when a Moroccan delegate to the United Nations demanded independence for the people of Kabylia,” Lamamra said in a press conference.
Shortly before the wildfires erupted in Algeria, Moroccan King Mohammed VI expressed regret over the tensions between the two countries and called on Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune for talks.
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