The Moroccan consul in Oran, Aherdane Boutahar, arrived in Morocco at the request of his country due to the oppressive conditions he faced from Algerian officials.
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita summoned the Algerian Ambassador to Morocco, Abdelhamid Abdaoui, on June 9 after “hostile” remarks from the official spokesperson of Algeria’s presidency.
A “diplomatic source” told Moroccan news outlet Le360 that the decision to summon Abdaoui was to learn about the motives behind the statements and to correct the “lies” voiced by the spokesperson of Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
Spokesman of Algeria’s presidency, Belaid Mohand-Oussaid, accused Morocco’s consul in Oran, Aherdane Boutahar, of “spying” in favor of Morocco’s intelligence community.
The source also refuted claims that the Moroccan consul left Algeria at the request of Algerian officials. Morocco recalled its diplomat immediately as it was impossible for him to work under “these conditions.”
“The decision to recall [the consul] was the result of an exclusive initiative of Morocco and the statements of the spokesman of [Abdelmadjid Tebboune] are lies,” the source said.
A former diplomat told the news outlet that the allegations from the Algerian official “give a lamentable image” of Algeria’s communications.
The diplomat also quoted the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which stipulates “the heads of consular posts are appointed by the sending State and are admitted to the exercise of their functions by the receiving State.”
The diplomat questioned how Algeria could provide accreditation to the Moroccan consul if it is so sure of his work in the intelligence community.
The consul of Oran has a rich portfolio in diplomacy.
Boutahar started his international career as a diplomat in 1995 in Oran, which makes him recognizable in the country.
The official also served as a consul in Abu Dhabi, Nouakchott, and Kinshasa.
Morocco had no intention to issue replies in response to the recent claims and accusations from Algeria’s officials. Bourita, however, saw a response necessary when Algeria’s official spokesperson went so far as to accuse the Moroccan diplomat of spying.
“Given the extreme gravity of such remarks, Morocco expresses its dismay at these allegations emanating from a representative of an institution supposed to exercise discernment and restraint,” Morocco’s FM said on June 9.
He described the statements as “ridiculous and baseless.”
Algeria’s spokesperson’s statements poured more oil onto the fire as tensions continue to flare between the two countries, due to Algeria’s persistent determination to challenge Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
A reconciliation between the two counties has proven nearly impossible despite Morocco’s offers to engage in productive dialogue.
King Mohammed VI personally invited Algeria to engage in frank dialogue to break the stalemate during his 2018 Green March speech.
The King renewed his call for dialogue during his 2019 Throne Day speech. Meanwhile, Algeria continues to oppose Morocco and question its territorial integrity by supporting, arming, and financing the Polisario Front.