By Emmanuel Nduka
Algeria has cut decade’s long ties with Morocco, over hostile actions by its most populous neighbour.
Making the announcement at a news conference on Tuesday in Algiers, Foreign Minister Ramdane Lamamra accused Morocco of using Pegasus spyware against its officials, supporting a separatist group and failing in bilateral commitments, including on the Western Sahara issue.
“The Moroccan kingdom has never stopped its hostile actions against Algeria,” he said, announcing the immediate cessation of ties. Consulates in each country, however, will stay open,” he added.
It regretted what it described as an unjustified decision and said it would remain a “credible and loyal partner” to the Algerian people.
It would be recalled that the border between the two North African countries has been closed since 1994, but diplomatic relations have not been broken since they were restored in 1988 following an earlier dispute.
While Morocco has insisted for years that it wants the border to reopen, Algeria has said it must stay shut for security reasons.
Algeria blames last week’s wildfires to terrorist groups backed by Morocco.
Algeria recalled its ambassador last month after a Moroccan diplomat in New York called for the Kabylie people to have the right of self-determination. Morocco offered to send help to combat the fires, but there was no public response from Algeria.
Diplomatic relations have deteriorated since last year, when the Western Sahara issue flared up after years of comparative quiet.