A Moroccan diplomat was forced to leave Algeria, after he was requested to do so by the country’s authorities. Arab News reports that the consul left Morocco last Thursday on a Royal Air Maroc repatriation flight, intended for nationals stranded in Algeria.
Consul Aherdane Boutahar is said to have been at the center of a spat between Algiers and Rabat, after calling Algeria an ‘enemy country’. Algeria had in May, summoned Morocco’s ambassador, Hassan Abdelkhalek, after a social media video showed a man addressing Moroccans who were complaining about being stranded in Algeria due to coronavirus travel restrictions. The Middle East Monitor reports the consul told the stranded Moroccans that they shouls leave as, “You know that we are in an enemy country.”
Meanwhile, spokesperson for the Algerian Presidency Mohand Oussaid Belaid, claimed the consul’s “attitude was not surprising because he is an officer of the Moroccan intelligence services.” He added, “The decision to recall the consul was taken solely on Morocco’s initiative,” as the country has always been nonconfrontational in its relations with Algeria.
The two African countries do, however, have a history of tense relations, due to a dispute over the Western Sahara, which is mostly under the control of Morocco.
Moroccan Foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita, said that Morocco is deeply dissatisfied with the allegations made by a representative of an institution expected to show a good judgment and restraint.
Umm Muhammed Umar