UAE regrets severance of ties between Algeria and Morocco

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed said the UAE would bolster its bilateral ties with the two brotherly nations

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation. Courtesy MoFAIC

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, has expressed the UAE's regret over the severance of ties between Algeria and Morocco.

On Tuesday, Algeria's Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra claimed “hostile actions" on Morocco's part were reponsible for its decision to suspend diplomatic relations.

Morocco said it regretted what it called Algeria's unjustified decision to cut ties, and would remain a “credible and loyal partner” to the Algerian people.

On Wednesday, Sheikh Abdullah said the UAE was keen to ensure robust and positive relations between all Arab nations, and to strengthen ties in a way that serves their peoples' interests and fosters their progress and prosperity.

"The UAE has long been seeking to enhance pan-Arab relations, and therefore regrets the current developments in Algeria and Morocco, which have led to severing ties between the two nations," he said.

Sheikh Abdullah said the UAE has strong relations with Algeria and Morocco, and endeavoured to develop them in keeping with the country's approach of providing support to joint efforts aimed at serving Arab causes.

And he reaffirmed the UAE's desire to continue to bolster its bilateral ties with the two brotherly nations on the basis of permanent co-operation.

Mr Lamamra accused Morocco's leaders of “responsibility for repeated crises” and behaviour that has “led to conflict instead of integration” in North Africa.

Algeria said last week that it would review its relationship with Morocco after accusing it of complicity in the deadly forest fires in the north of the country.

And authorities accused the Movement for Self-determination of Kabylie, or MAK, of involvement in the death of a man falsely accused of arson, an incident that caused outrage.

Last week, Algeria directly accused Morocco of supporting the MAK, which it classifies as a terrorist organisation.

Commenting on the development, Saudi Arabia said it hoped for a return in relations "as soon as possible, and calls on the brothers in the two countries to give priority to dialogue and diplomacy to find solutions to contentious issues in a way that contributes to opening a new page for relations between the two countries".

Relations between Algiers and Rabat have been fraught in past decades, especially over unrest in southern Morocco.

Rabat considers the former Spanish colony in the Sahara region an integral part of its kingdom, in a view supported by the majority of Arab states.

But Algeria backs an armed independence movement that has waged an insurgency against the government for decades.

Last month, Algeria recalled its ambassador in Morocco for consultations after Rabat's envoy to the UN, Omar Hilale, expressed support for self-determination for the Kabylie region.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Wednesday urged the two North African nations to “find a way forward to mend relations, including in pursuit of peace and security in the region”.

Updated: August 25th 2021, 7:53 PM