Arab League, OIC decry Algeria-Morocco diplomatic rift

Arab League, OIC decry Algeria-Morocco diplomatic rift
The Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation have both expressed disappointment at a rupture in relations between Morocco and Algeria, calling for "dialogue" to solve the dispute
2 min read
Algeria announced on Tuesday that it was breaking off ties with Morocco [Getty]

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab League and Saudi Arabia called for "dialogue" on Wednesday to resolve a bitter dispute between neighbouring Algeria and Morocco.

Algeria said on Tuesday it had cut diplomatic relations with Morocco because of "hostile actions", following months of resurgent tensions between the North African rivals.

The OIC "called for dialogue to resolve any possible differences", a statement from the Jeddah-based organisation said Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia called on both nations "to prioritise dialogue" to help "achieve security and stability", a foreign ministry statement read.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit urged "both countries to exercise restraint and to avoid further escalation" in a statement late Tuesday.

Libya, which borders Algeria, said it "deeply regrets" the deterioration of relations and asked for "restraint", in a statement from the foreign ministry.

Tripoli also called for regional talks on the sidelines of the next Arab League meeting, scheduled for September 7 to 9 in Cairo.

Algiers has long been at odds with Rabat - particularly over the Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony Morocco sees as an integral part of its territory, but where Algiers has supported the Polisario independence movement.

Their rivalry took a new twist last year when outgoing US president Donald Trump recognised Moroccan sovereignty over the territory - in exchange for Morocco normalising ties with Israel.

For Algeria, that amounted to Rabat "introducing a foreign military force into the Maghreb", in the words of Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra on Tuesday.

Morocco's foreign ministry bit back, saying Algiers' move was "completely unjustified".