“Those who prepare to write press releases [against Morocco] and call back their ambassador for consultation must continue on this path,” the Moroccan FM said in response to Algeria’s maneuvers against Morocco’s territorial integrity.
Rabat – Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sabri Boukadoum made it clear at a recent press conference that his country will continue to carry out hostile maneuvers to challenge Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
Angered by Morocco’s diplomatic achievements in the Western Sahara dossier, the Algerian FM said his country will continue to “pour oil into fire.”
“I assure you that we, in Algeria, are always careful to add fuel to the fire, especially in our relations with Morocco,” said Boukadoum at a press conference on Saturday.
While the statement was a slip of tongue, Algeria’s known support for the Polisario Front, as well as the North African country’s history of hostile comments towards Rabat clash with Boukadoum’s suggestion that Algiers harbors no hostile sentiments against Morocco.
In repeated public and official statements in recent months, high-ranking Algerian officials, including the newly-elected president, have spoken openly about undermining Moroccan interests, both on regional issues and on the Western Sahara question.
In his attempt to explain away the comments about “adding fuel to the fire,” Boukadoum suggested he was responding to provocative remarks from Morocco.
Referencing Morocco’s Nasser Bourita’s recent comments on Morocco’s growing momentum on the Western Sahara question, the Algerian minister said he was hoping that Bourita did not issue the statements he said recently.
Despite his unmistakable Morocco-bashing rhetoric during his press conference, he also claimed that Algiers holds no grudges against Rabat and actually hopes to improve bilateral relations.
“We never said something against Morocco. We always think of the future and we don’t think of building a relationship based on insults and inappropriate words,” he said.
He then accused Bourita of releasing statements about Morocco’s Western Sahara momentum to “show off” and to “provoke” Algeria.
But Boukadoum’s defense does not add up, especially as the Algerian president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has been openly interfering in Morocco’s domestic affairs in a milestone cause for Morocco: Western Sahara.
Throughout the years, some Algerian officials have also been accusing Morocco of “flooding Algeria of drugs.”
Algerian politician of the National Liberation Front (FLN) paty, Djamel Ouled Abbes, claimed that Morocco brings “enormous quantities of drugs into the Algerian territory.”
The controversial comments from Algeria comes after Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bourita said that “a neighboring country” is trying to sabotage the annual Crans Montana event, through official documents encouraging African countries to boycott the meeting.
Bourita made the statement in a speech at the inauguration of Djibouti’s new general consulate in the city of Dakhla, southern Morocco on Friday.
The Algerian move comes as no surprise as the eastern neighbor has been condemning the inauguration of general consulates by African countries in Laayoune and Dakhla.
In response to the continuous condemnatory comments, Bourita said: “Those who prepare to write press releases [against Morocco] and call back their ambassador for consultation must continue on this path.”
The response referenced Algeria’s move to recall its ambassador from Cote d’Ivoire after the West African state inaugurated a general consulate in Laayoune.
During the inauguration ceremony, the Ivorian Minister for African Integration, Ally Coulibaly, described his country’s decision as “sovereign.”
“In foreign policy, as in other fields, we are careful not to give moral lessons, nor do we want to be told what to do or not to do,” said the minister in a speech, implicitly referencing the Algerian pressure on his country.