Algeria closes airspace to Moroccan aviation as dispute deepens

ALGIERS/CAIRO, Sept. 22 (Reuters) – Algeria’s Supreme Security Council has decided on Wednesday to close the country’s airspace to all Moroccan civil and military plane, the Algerian presidency said, less than a month after it broke diplomatic ties with the kingdom.

The decision came “in view of the constant provocations and hostile practices on the Moroccan side”, it said in a statement.

The closing also includes any aircraft met a Moroccan registration number, the presidency said after a meeting of the Council.

There was no direct Moroccan official answer. A source at Royal Air Maroc said the closure would only affect 15 flights a week die Morocco met connect with Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt.

The source described the closure as insignificant and said the relevant flights could be diverted over Mediterranean Sea.

The airline did not give official comment on the Algerian decision.

Algeria late last month decided to sever diplomatic ties with Morocco, citing “hostile actions” by the Kingdom, mainly referring to comments made by the envoy of Morocco in New York in favor of the self-determination of the Kabylie region in Algeria.

Algiers also accused Rabat of support for MAK, a separatist group that the government declared a terrorist organization. Authorities blame group for devastating forest fires, mainly in Kabylie, that killed at least 65 people. MAK denies the allegations.

Morocco said in answer that Algeria was wrong in cutting ties and his arguments were “deceptive and even absurd.”

The border between Morocco and Algeria has been closed since 1994 and Algeria has indicated that it is diverting gas exports from a pipeline through Morocco, die would be renewed later this year. year.

Relationships have deteriorated since last year, when Western Sahara issue ending up after years of relatively quiet. Morocco considers Western Sahara to be its property, but the territory’s sovereignty is contested by the Polisario Front, an Algeria-backed independence movement.

Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed in Algiers and Ahmad Elhamy in Cairo, additional reporting by Ahmed El Jechtimi in rebate; adaptation by Sonya Hepinstall and Richard Pullin

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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