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Spain accuses Algeria of cutting trade ties amid diplomatic crisis 

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares attends the EU Foreign Ministers' meeting in Brussels, Belgium on 13 December 2021. [Dursun Aydemir - Anadolu Agency]
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares attends the EU Foreign Ministers' meeting in Brussels, Belgium on 13 December 2021. [Dursun Aydemir - Anadolu Agency]

Spain yesterday accused Algeria of blocking almost all bilateral trade exchanges, with the exception of its gas exports, following a major diplomatic spat between the two countries over the disputed Western Sahara.

"Despite Algerian statements saying these were malicious fantasies dreamt up by Spain, there is indeed a blocking of operations," Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares, told the official RNE radio.

In June, Algeria's banking association announced restrictions on dealing with Spain, a few hours after suspending a treaty of friendship with Madrid.

In response, the European Union warned Algeria of the repercussions of the restrictions it imposed on Spain, warning that it would constitute a "violation of the association agreement between the EU and Algeria, especially in the field of trade and investment."

Algeria denies the validity of the allegations.

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 the Western Sahara's independence, has described Spain's U-turn as "a betrayal."

READ: Spain Attorney General to probe migrant deaths on Morocco border

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AfricaAlgeriaEUEurope & RussiaMoroccoNewsSpain
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