Rabat - Algeria’s Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia is "100 percent behind" the allegations of his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdelkader Messahel, who provoked a diplomatic crisis with the kingdom by accusing Moroccan banks of “laundering drug money.”
Rabat – Algeria’s Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia is “100 percent behind” the allegations of his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdelkader Messahel, who provoked a diplomatic crisis with the kingdom by accusing Moroccan banks of “laundering drug money.”
“If our neighbors are angry, well that’s too bad for them, and all the better for us,” said Ouyahia on October 25, during an interview with a state-owned radio station.
After being asked about his National Democratic Party’s stance on Messahel’s allegations, the prime ministers stated that they are “an Algerian political party.” For Ouyahia, it is obvious then that “we are 100 percent behind our government in everything related to Algeria‘s foreign relations.”
On October 20, Messahel accused Morocco of “laundering drug money in Sub-Saharan Africa,”during a discussion hosted by the Forum of Algerian Business Leaders (FCE).
The Algerian official claimed that Morocco has been laundering cannabis money through banks in the continent, adding that Moroccan banks are being used in laundering the revenues from the sales of hashish. “Everybody knows that,” he said.
The head of Algerian diplomacy added that he was told this information by “African heads of state.”
Messahel also accused Morocco’s state-owned airline, Royal Air Maroc (RAM), of “carrying something other than passengers,” referring to cannabis.
Following his allegations against the country, Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a press release strongly condemning the official statements.
“Following the very serious statements of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, concerning the African policy of the Kingdom of Morocco, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Algeria in Rabat was summoned tonight, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,” read the ministry’s statement, posted on its Facebook account.
The ministry added that the allegations made by the Algerian minister showed a lack of knowledge regarding the Moroccan banking system and the rules of the international civil aviation.
“The remarks made by the Algerian Minister on banking institutions and the national airline, testify to a deep and inexplicable ignorance of basic standards of the functioning of the banking system and civil aviation, both at national level and international,” said the ministry.
RAM has also vehemently denounced Messahel’s claims.
“The slanderous remarks of the Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs show a total ignorance of the sector,” said the airline. “Air traffic is a highly regulated environment by highly qualified international bodies.”