Algeria suspended all tourism ties with Spain on Monday in a new escalation of tension between the two countries over the disputed Western Sahara region, Anadolu News Agency reports.
A document dated 19 June by the Algerian Tourism Ministry asked all tour operators to immediately suspend tourism relations with Spain. The document said the suspension was part of Algeria’s decision to suspend a friendship treaty with Madrid.
A source with an Algerian tour operator confirmed to Anadolu Agency the order to suspend tourism ties with Spain.
Last week, Algeria suspended its 20-year-old friendship and cooperation treaty with Spain.
The North African country’s banking association, ABEF, also ordered all banks to freeze bank operations related to trade with Spain.
The escalation came after the Spanish government shifted its position on the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
Spain had previously supported Western Sahara’s independence. However, after diplomatic tensions with Morocco surged last year, the government was persuaded to accept the position that Western Sahara should be an autonomous region with Morocco.
Algeria, a firm supporter of Western Saharan independence, has described Spain’s U-turn as “a betrayal.”