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Algeria militarises border with Morocco, considers closing airspace

Moroccan security forces stand guard as Moroccan farmers protest in the border city of Figuig on March 18, 2021, after Algerian authorities expelled the date growers from a border area they were traditionally authorised to farm in the Algerian territory. - The border between regional rivals Algeria and Morocco has been closed since 1994, but Algiers had allowed some 30 Moroccan farming households to use an area of farmland known to Moroccans as Arjal and to Algerians as the Laaroda oasis. (Photo by Fadel SENNA / AFP) (Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)
Moroccan security forces stand guard as Moroccan farmers protest in the border city of Figuig on March 18, 2021 [FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images]

Relations between Morocco and Algeria have taken a dangerous turn after Algeria militarised its border with Morocco. Observers have not ruled out the possibility of closing the airspace shared with its western neighbour.

The Algerian High Council of State, headed by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, held an extraordinary meeting last Wednesday, and accused Rabat of threatening Algeria's stability and security in coordination with Israel.

In its statement, the council accused the Moroccan authorities of causing the fires in the country with the help of the Kabyle Independence movement MAK, while announcing its intention to reconsider relations with Morocco.

Earlier this week, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra accused Morocco of coordinating with Israel to destabilise Algeria and denounced the statements of Israel's foreign minister, who spoke about coordination between Algeria and Iran during his visit to Rabat.

READ: Algeria to reconsider relations with Morocco after 'hostile acts'

Algerian press is waging an unprecedented campaign against Morocco, as the newspaper Algérie Patriotique reported on Friday evening that Algeria is considering suspending the air link between Algiers and Casablanca to reconsider bilateral relations between the two countries.

The newspaper, owned by former Defence Minister Khaled Nizar, confirmed that the Algerian army has militarised the border with Morocco and declared an exceptional state of emergency.

In turn, Morocco has intensified its military presence on the borders, and there is fear of the tension leading to military skirmishes.

Despite the measures announced by Algeria, including the review of relations, Rabat remained silent and did not respond to the statement of the Algerian High Council of State.

The Moroccan press interprets Algeria's recent stances as the authority's attempt to export their internal problems abroad.

READ: Morocco dragging Israel into dangerous adventure against Algeria, Algeria FM says 

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