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Algeria: Defence Ministry denies reports of manoeuvres with Russia near Moroccan border

November 30, 2022 at 10:49 am

A military zone sign is seen in the Moroccan region of Oujda along the border with Algeria, on November 3, 2021 [FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images]

The Algerian Ministry of Defence denied on Tuesday reports in the international media that its armed forces have conducted joint manoeuvres with their Russian counterparts near the Moroccan border.

“International media recently reported information about a joint Algerian-Russian tactical exercise for ground forces in combating terrorism in the south of the country,” said the ministry in a statement broadcast by state television.

“This joint military exercise was scheduled as part of cooperation with the Russian army within the framework of counter-terrorism. However, it did not take place.” No reason for this was given, nor were any details provided about whether it was cancelled or simply postponed.

A few days ago, international media, including some outlets in Russia, said the Algerian and Russian armies organised joint manoeuvres in the Béchar region of south-west Algeria adjacent to the Moroccan border, between 16 and 28 of this month. Neither the Algerian Ministry of Defence nor the local media made such an announcement, though.

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In October, the Algerian National Navy conducted joint exercises with its Russian counterpart in the Mediterranean Sea over four days.

According to observers, Algeria is one of Moscow’s most significant military allies in Africa, and one of the largest importers of Russian weapons in the region.