Morocco condemns Algerian foreign minister's remarks, recalls envoy - UPDATED

Morocco condemns Algerian foreign ministerUPDATED'>
# 21 October 2017 21:49 (UTC +04:00)

Moroccan authorities have decided to recall the country's ambassador from neighboring Algeria after the Algerian foreign minister accused the Moroccan government institutions of having a hand in the financing and trafficking of drug, APA reports quoting Press TV.

 The Moroccan Foreign Ministry recalled its ambassador from Algiers a day after it summoned Algerian charge d'affaires in Rabat to protest Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel’s accusations that banks and an air carrier in Morocco were involved in drug-trafficking.


The Moroccan Foreign Ministry lambasted Messahel for the remarks and called them unprecedented even in the history of tense relations between the two North African rivals.

 A statement by the ministry said the comments showed a “level of irresponsibility unprecedented in the history of bilateral relations.” It added that the comments “testify to a deep and inexplicable ignorance of the basic workings of the banking system and civil aviation.”


“These unfounded statements cannot undermine the credibility and success of the Kingdom of Morocco's cooperation with brotherly African countries, and which is widely welcomed by the African Heads of State and appreciated by the people and the forces of the continent”.


“Moreover, the effective action and considerable efforts of the Kingdom of Morocco, especially in the fight against drug trafficking, including in particular psychotropic substances from Algeria, are widely known internationally and recognized by specialized international institutions”.


According to some experts, the comments of the Algerian Foreign minister coincide with the regional tour of the Secretary General's Personal Envoy for the Sahara, as well as with the preparations for the EU-Africa Summit, scheduled for late November 2017 in Abidjan and also with the difficult internal situation of Algeria marked by economic, political and social problems affecting large sections of the population, including youth.


Morocco and Algeria are known for their unfriendly relations. The two neighbors are still at odds over Morocco’s 1975 recovery of the Sahara, and a movement called polisario front enjoys Algeria’s help to seek separation of the region from Rabat. Borders between Morocco and Algeria have also been closed since 1994.