Blind diplomacy: Algeria cuts relations with Morocco


On August 24th, the Algerian Government voted to pass the motion for “ Cut off  Foreign Relations ” and then declared officially the “ served diplomatic ties with Morocco”. Rabat quickly stated that Algeria’s Unilateral on this issue has been predictable and irrational.

This decision comes a week ago after Algerian President “Abdelmajid Tebboune” stated that Rabat had normalized diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv, and supported Israel to be an observer member at the African Union. Additionally, King Mohamed VI gave his orders to the Moroccan ministry of foreign affairs to mobilizing its firefighting aircrafts “Canadair CL-415” to help Algeria put off the wildfires. But a few days following Morocco’s statement, Algeria held a “high council” meeting, in which it blamed the Kingdom of Morocco and Israel for causing the catastrophic fire.

As for the other reasons mentioned in the statement of the Algerian presidency to sever relations and referred to Morocco’s support for the Al-Make and Rashad movements, which Algeria considers as terrorist organizations, and directly accuses them of setting wildfires in the states of Tizi Ouzou, Astif, and Bejaia, as well as condemning Morocco of using the “Pegasus program ” to spy on Algerian citizens and diplomats; All of them are cruel accusations that lacks adequate arguments and evidence, which rise to the point of verbal aggression against the Kingdom of Morocco, which decides censored interactions without any basis taken by Algeria as abusive and arbitrary use of its right and sovereign freedom only.

Since the last year 2020, the diplomatic tension started between the Kingdom of Morocco and Algeria, the Maghreb region’s attention has been focused on the scenarios of the row between Rabat and Algeria. Undesirably, the two states’ government have lost their deep interests in holding compromise which is seen as the core feature of classical diplomacy. 

Currently, Algeria falls in chaotic internal and external issues, Morocco understands and supports the Algerian government’s effort to uphold national unity, ethnic solidarity, and territorial integrity, oppose the act of disrupting the country and undermining the rule of law. As Rabat and Algeria have been friendly states since the French colonization era, both states will sustain to enhance friendship in terms of mutual respect’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference into each other’s internal policies.

Due to this, the Kingdom of Morocco and Algeria have been experienced unrest diplomatic relations for many years. Their borders were closed since the 1994 terrorist attack had taken place in Marrakesh city. This tragic incident urged the Moroccan government to take tight diplomatic measures started imposing a visa entry ban on Algerian diplomats and citizens.

To a certain extent, Algeria is conducting a mass and fierce media war against the Kingdom of Morocco, and it is a neighboring state that was unharmed by Morocco’s restoration of its southern provinces from the control of Spanish colonialism Rather, Morocco was a backer and prop of the symbols of the Algerian resistance during the period of French colonialism. The strive against Morocco made Algeria seeks to create anarchy through Moroccan land by using the “ Polisario Front “ to undermine Morocco’s foreign policy. Yet, Military spending costs Algeria, approximately, 25 percent of the state’s budget, or 5 percent of its gross domestic product. The sum of $ 13 billion that is spent annually on militarization was first directed to enhance the social and economic settings that are driving several areas to protest and plead.

Additionally, the dispute of Moroccan (Western) Sahara also played a very critical issue in making Morocco Algeria relations weak and unsustainable. Thus, if Algeria and Morocco would stand together to overcome their disputes away from AMU then, the Arab regional union would dawn again.

As noted, the primary motives behind Algeria’s cutting diplomatic ties with Morocco were based on territorial issues. The Kingdom of Morocco tried harder many times to evaporate their traditional conflict through sending dozens of diplomatic dialogue invitations to settled down for a real settlement to overcome their concerns regarding Moroccan ( Western ) Sahara and borders cases. And yet, these issues prevent the continuity of the Maghreb Arab Union.

To conclude, Morocco needs to reflect on its perspectives in the wake of observing the Algerian issue. As the division of powers between the central government and Algerian people is politically inevitable in any state, The Kingdom of Morocco is no doubt. But, given that it is moving through the Kingdom’s perception of regional power, rising Morocco regionally with the second-largest economy in North Africa could afford both stable domestic control and the regional governance that comes from a valuable aid and information plan overseas. Indeed, the real message was sent by His Majesty King Mohamed VI at the last speech that Morocco stands firm in protecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Moroccan people both the ruling elites and social mass of the Kingdom will never let anyone, no matter what nationality they are, at any time or reason, discrete any bit of Moroccan territory from Morocco.

Jamal Laadam
Jamal Laadam
Dr. Jamal Ait Laadam, Specialist in North African and Western Sahara Issue, at Jilin University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).


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