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Algeria slams ‘false’ Moroccan claims about expelled Syrians

April 24, 2017 at 3:12 pm

A Syrian child walks over a muddy road between tents at the refugee camp in Idlib, Syria on January 9 2017 [Abdulghani Arian/Anadolu Agency]

Algeria has recalled the Moroccan ambassador to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to give “a categorical rejection” of the “serious accusations” formulated by Moroccan authorities over the weekend.

Morocco yesterday summoned the Algerian ambassador to Rabat to express its concerns that Algeria had attempted to expel 55 Syrians who had “illegally” entered Morocco. According to the Moroccan foreign ministry, 55 Syrians tried to enter Morocco from Algeria between 17-19 April near the desert town of Figuig after Algerian authorities forced them out.

Following the serious accusations made by the Moroccan authorities that Algeria was responsible for an alleged attempt by Syrian nationals who tried to enter Moroccan territory illegally from Algerian territory, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco was received today, [23 April] at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where it was served a categorical rejection of the said false allegations.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs further added that it was “demonstrated the totally unfounded nature of such accusations, which are only intended to harm Algeria, which is grossly imputed to practices that are alien to its ethics and its well-established traditions of hospitality.”

“To these unilateral actions concerning citizens likely to be of Syrian nationality, there are recurrently similar illegal acts affecting nationals of Sub-Saharan countries, who are frequently the object of illegal transfers to the Algerian territory,” the statement said.

Algeria, which has always refrained from giving political importance and media coverage to such premeditated and repetitive acts on the part of Morocco, deeply regrets the propensity of the Moroccan authorities to over-exploit human tragedies for hostile propaganda.

There are currently around 40,000 Syrian nationals settled in Algeria “to whom all the facilities have been granted”, the ministry said.

“[The] unrestrained media campaigns directed against Algeria and its senior officials fall under a strategy of tension that is at the opposite of the requirements of good neighbourliness between the two countries.”