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Moroccan King sends condolences to Algerian president upon Bensalah's death

Algeria's Abdelkader Bensalah attends the opening session of the 30th Arab League Summit in Tunis, Tunisia on 31 March 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Algeria's Abdelkader Bensalah attends the opening session of the 30th Arab League Summit in Tunis, Tunisia on 31 March 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

On Friday, Moroccan King Mohammed VI sent condolences to Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune following the death of the country's former president, Abdelkader Bensalah.

In his telegram published by the official Moroccan News Agency (MAP), the Moroccan monarch said: "I received with great sorrow the news of the death of the former president of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, the late Abdelkader Bensalah."

He added: "On this sad occasion, I express to you and through you to the family of the deceased, and to the brotherly Algerian people, my deepest condolences and most sincere feelings of sympathy for this painful affliction, asking the Almighty to accept him among the His righteous servants. ยป

Bensalah died on Wednesday, at the age of 80 after a long struggle with illness. Since then, flags have been lowerd at half-mast and three days of national mourning was declared.

READ: Algeria's interim president dies aged 80

The condolence telegram is the second sent by the Moroccan King to President Tebboune since the announcement by Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra on August 24 last that his country had decided to sever relations with Morocco due to "hostile tendencies" from Rabat. Morocco has categorically denied the allegations.

The Moroccan monarch had sent a similar message to President Tebboune after the death of former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who died on 17 September, and to Bouteflika's family.

Relations between the two countries have been strained for decades due to the closure of their land borders since 1994 and the disputed Sahara region between Rabat and the Polisario Front.

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