The statement by the representative of the Cherifian kingdom at the UN, Omar Hilale, during a meeting of the non-aligned movement on July 13 and 14 in New York, United States, in response to Algiers’ support for the Western Sahara independence movement, has created a new scandal between Morocco and Algeria. Algeria has recalled its ambassador to Rabat for « consultation with immediate effect.
The diplomatic conflict between Morocco and Algeria is taking a new turn, since the statement of the representative of the Cherifian kingdom at the UN, Omar Hilale, during a meeting of the non-aligned movement, July 13 and 14, in the United States, in response to the support of Algiers to the independentists of Western Sahara. Indeed, the Algerian Foreign Ministry announced the recall, for « consultation with immediate effect », of its ambassador in Rabat.
The new head of Algerian diplomacy, Ramtane Lamamra, is apparently very upset by the lack of interest that Morocco has given to his statement of Friday, July 16, while his department summoned to present « clarifications » on its support for the self-determination of Kabylia. « Algeria expected the Kingdom of Morocco to clarify its final position on the extremely serious situation created by the inadmissible remarks of its ambassador in New York, » he said.
« Since then, and in the absence of any positive and appropriate response from the Moroccan side, it was decided today, the recall, with immediate effect, for consultations, the Algerian ambassador in Rabat, without prejudice to other possible measures depending on the evolution of this case, « said Ramtane Lamamra.
As a reminder, the former Spanish Sahara has been, since the mid-1970s, the scene of a conflict between the Polisario Front independence fighters and Morocco, which occupies and administers Western Sahara and considers it an integral part of its territory. The closure of land borders between Algeria and Morocco since the Algerian civil war of the 1990s has aggravated tensions between the two neighbors, causing regular diplomatic crises.