ALGIERS - Algeria said Thursday it considers as ”unjustified” a decision by Morocco to recall its ambassador in response to comments by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika about disputed Western Sahara.
ALGIERS – Algeria said Thursday it considers as ”unjustified” a decision by Morocco to recall its ambassador in response to comments by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika about disputed Western Sahara.
The diplomatic spat follows the latest barbed exchange between the North African neighbours whose decades-old rivalry centres on the disputed territory.
“This is an unjustified decision, amounting to an unfortunate escalation based on spurious motives, and detrimental to the sovereignty of Algeria,” a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement sent to AFP.
But despite its protest, Algiers said it would keep its diplomats in Morocco.
Rabat said on Wednesday that its decision to recall the ambassador followed ”a growing number of provocative and hostile acts by Algeria towards the kingdom,” notably regarding “regional differences over the Moroccan Sahara.”
It highlighted a speech by Bouteflika at a meeting in Abuja on Monday in which the Algerian president said an international mechanism to monitor human rights in Western Sahara was needed “more than ever”.
In his speech, Bouteflika referred to “massive and systematic human rights violations that take place inside the occupied territories to suppress the peaceful struggle” of the Sahrawi people for freedom of expression and association.
The spat comes as a report is due to be presented to the UN Security Council by special envoy Christopher Ross, who visited the region this month in a new bid to push for a peaceful resolution to the frozen conflict.
Excerpted from AFP