Algeria’s Foreign Minister, Ramtane Lamamra, revealed the conditions for the possibility of renormalizing the relations again with Morocco, stressing that Algiers was forced to sever diplomatic relations after its patience ran out.
“We are not at all happy to severe diplomatic relations with neighboring Morocco,” Lamamra said.
He added that “Algeria this time was forced to sever relations after its patience ran out, and after it waited for a long time for reason to prevail and to resort to well-known and established international rules and norms.”
Meanwhile, the Moroccan Foreign Ministry responded to what it described as a unilateral step by Algiers to cut diplomatic relations between the two Arab countries.
Morocco stressed that it “categorically rejects the false, rather absurd, justifications on which this decision was based.”
At the same time, the Algerian Senator, Fouad Sbouta, ruled out the escalation of tension between the two countries into a military confrontation on the border, stressing that Rabat supports a separatist movement and another that Algiers has designated as a “terrorist.”
Moroccan King Mohammed VI called for improving relations with Algeria, including during a speech last month.
Although the border between the two North African countries has been closed since 1994, diplomatic relations have existed between them since 1988 when relations were restored after being severed due to a previous conflict.
Morocco has said for years that it “wants to reopen the borders”. Algiers said the border should remain closed for security reasons.
Last week, Algiers announced that the deadly forest fires it witnessed were the work of groups it described as terrorists, including the Movement for the Self-Determination of Kabylia (MAK), which seeks the independence of the Kabylie region.
Algeria says that Morocco supports it, even if it does not provide evidence of that. Algeria recalled its ambassador after a Moroccan diplomat in New York called for granting the residents of the Kabylie region the right to self-determination.
Morocco had previously severed its relations with Algeria in 1976 after Algiers recognized the establishment of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Relations were not resumed until 1988 after Saudi mediation.