The Algerian Foreign Ministry accused Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita of wanting to drag his “new Middle Eastern ally [Israel] into a dangerous adventure directed against Algeria.”
It was not immediately possible to obtain a comment from Rabat on Algeria’s claims that were issued in response to comments made by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s during his visit to Morocco last week.
The ministry considered Lapid’s statements as being “directed by Nasser Bourita, in his capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco,” while considering that these statements reflect Bourita’s desire “to drag his new Middle Eastern ally into a dangerous adventure against Algeria, its values and its principled positions.”
On Wednesday, during a visit to Morocco Lapid expressed Israel’s concern about what he said was Algeria’s role in the region and its great rapprochement with Tel Aviv’s regional archenemy, Iran.
Lapid attacked Algeria for launching a campaign, with the help of other Arab countries, against the decision of the African Union (AU) to grant Tel Aviv observer status.
Relations between Algeria and Morocco have been sour since 1975 when Rabat’s conflict with the Algeria-backed separatist Polisario group over the Western Sahara began.
Rabat insists on its right to govern the region but proposed autonomous rule in the Western Sahara under its sovereignty, but the Polisario Front wants a referendum to let the people determine the future of the region. Algeria has been supporting the Front’s proposal and hosts refugees from the region.