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Ex-Morocco PM: We prepared for Algeria stopping its gas supply 

Morocco’s former Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane in Rabat, Morocco on 16 March 2017 [FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images]
Morocco’s former Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane in Rabat, Morocco on 16 March 2017 [FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images]

Former Moroccan Prime Minister and Secretary-General of the Justice and Development Party, Abdelilah Benkirane, on Tuesday said his government had told the king that the contact which saw Algeria supply natural gas to Morocco was coming to an end.

Responding to accusations that he had concealed the information, Benkirane said this is a sovereign issue and as such the monarch would have to be kept informed of the situation.

"Things are not easy, especially in foreign policy. The king followed up on the matter, and when he learned that the Algerians were going to cut off the gas, he issued his instructions and was assured that the issue will not have an impact," Benkirane said in a video posted on his party's Facebook page. Despite Algeria no longer supplying its neighbour with gas, the former PM said, the kingdom has not suffered from ashortage.

He went on to highlight statements issued by the head of the National Office of Energy and Minerals, who had said the kingdom expected the Algerian decision and was prepared for it.

Last November, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune decided not to renew the contract to supply natural gas to Morocco through the Maghreb-Europe pipeline which links Algeria to Spain.

Instead, Algeria decided to supply Spain directly using the Medgaz undersea pipeline which does not go through Morocco.

Morocco benefited financially from the pipeline that passed through its territories, in addition to receiving annual quantities of natural gas used to operate two power plants in the north and east of the country.

Last August, Algeria severed relations with Rabat, due to what it considered "hostile tendencies". Rabat rejects Algiers' accusations.

READ: Algeria should welcome and be wary of the attention it's receiving for its gas

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AfricaAlgeriaEurope & RussiaMoroccoNewsSpain
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