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Algeria to continue gas supply to Spain despite Western Sahara row

A gas plant in Algiers, Algeria on 16 January 21018 [RYAD KRAMDI/AFP via Getty Images]
A gas plant in Algiers, Algeria on 16 January 2018 [RYAD KRAMDI/AFP/Getty Images]

Algeria will continue gas supply to Spain despite a diplomatic row with Madrid over Western Sahara, the country's president said on Saturday, Anadolu Agency reported.

"We assure the Spanish friends, the Spanish people that Algeria will never abandon its commitment to supply Spain with gas under any circumstances," Tebboune said in an interview with state television.

"Algeria's relations with Spain are good and very solid," he added.

The Algerian leader said the Spanish government's support to a Moroccan proposal for self-rule in Western Sahara was "morally and historically unacceptable".

Last month, Algeria recalled its ambassador from Spain in protest of the Spanish support to the Moroccan self-rule proposal.

READ: Algeria demands 'frank clarifications' before envoy returns to Spain 

Algeria supports independence for Western Sahara and the issue has caused deep tensions between Morocco and Algeria for years.

Western Sahara is an area along Africa's Atlantic coast that has a population of about 600,000 residents, according to UN estimates. It was colonized by Spain in the 19th century and annexed in 1975 by Morocco.

Rabat insists on its right to the Western Sahara region, but has proposed a self-rule system under Moroccan sovereignty.

The pro-independence Polisario Front, for its part, demands that a popular referendum be held in Western Sahara to decide the region's political fate — a proposal backed by Algeria.

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AfricaAlgeriaEurope & RussiaMoroccoNewsSpain
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