Morocco says Algerian decision to cut ties 'completely unjustified'

Morocco says Algerian decision to cut ties 'completely unjustified'
Morocco's foreign ministry said Algeria's decision made Tuesday to cut ties between the two countries was 'completely unjustified but expected'.

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Morocco said it rejected the 'fallacious' reasoning behind Algeria's decision to sever ties between the two countries [Getty]

Morocco's foreign ministry on Tuesday slammed Algeria's decision to cut ties between the two countries.

"Morocco regrets this completely unjustified but expected decision - in view of the logic of escalation noted in recent weeks - as well as its impact on the Algerian people. Morocco categorically rejects the fallacious, even absurd, pretexts underlying it," the Moroccan foreign ministry said in a statement.

"For its part, the Kingdom of Morocco will remain a credible and loyal partner for the Algerian people and will continue to act, with wisdom and responsibility, for the development of healthy and fruitful inter-Maghreb relations."

Algeria said Tuesday that its severing of ties with its western neighbour was effective immediately, and due to Rabat's "hostile actions".

The move came after Algeria last week said it would review its relations with Morocco after accusing it of complicity in deadly forest fires that ravaged the country's north.

The forest fires in Algeria, which broke out on 9 August amid a blistering heatwave, burned tens of thousands of hectares of forest and killed at least 90 people.

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Algerian authorities have pointed the finger for the fires at the independence movement of the mainly Berber region of Kabylie, which extends along the Mediterranean coast east of the capital Algiers.

The authorities have also accused the Movement for Self-determination of Kabylie (MAK) of involvement in the lynching of a man falsely accused of arson, an incident that sparked outrage.

Algeria last week accused Morocco of supporting the MAK, which it classifies as a "terrorist organisation".

Relations between Algiers and Rabat have been fraught in past decades, especially over the flashpoint issue of the disputed Western Sahara.

The border between Algeria and Morocco has been closed since 1994.