Algeria recalls ambassador to Morocco in row over Western Sahara

In the latest flare-up of tensions between the North African neighbors over the disputed area of Western Sahara, Algeria’s foreign ministry recalled its ambassador to Morocco on Sunday and hinted at possible future measures.

The action was prompted by remarks from the Moroccan envoy to the United Nations on Algeria’s Kabylie region, the ministry said after the envoy drew the region into the decades-old row over Western Sahara, which is claimed by Morocco as well as the Algeria-backed Polisario Front.

The Moroccan envoy had called at a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement for “the right of self-determination for the people living in the Kabylie region” in reference to Algeria’s Tamazight-speaking minority. He had urged that Algeria should not deny this while supporting Western Sahara’s right to self-determination.

The Polisario Front is fighting for the independence for Western Sahara, a Spanish colony until the mid-1970s now largely occupied and administered by Morocco.

Algeria-Morocco land borders have been closed since the early 1990s due to security concerns, escalating tensions between Algiers and Rabat, whose relations have deteriorated as a result of the conflict.

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