Former Moroccan PM calls on Algeria to end 'hostility' over Western Sahara dispute

Former Moroccan PM calls on Algeria to end 'hostility' over Western Sahara dispute
Morocco's former prime minister has called on neighbouring Algeria to 'return to God' and end its hostility towards his country as tensions continue over the Western Sahara dispute.
2 min read
13 June, 2022
Benkirane fired at Algeria, calling on it to end its 'hostile' stance against Morocco [Getty]

Former Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane warned Algeria on Sunday of any attack against his country, calling on Algiers to end its hostile stance.

In a fiery speech to the neighbouring country, the secretary-general of the Justice and Development Party said it was not the time for Algeria to think about "taking a part of Morocco" and creating a state of 100,000 to 200,000 people just so it can "access" the Atlantic Ocean, in reference to the disputed Western Sahara territory.

Benkirane told Algeria to think about "strengthening the unity of Maghreb [Northwest Africa] and issues that concern us all, so that at least our opponents fear us".

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"Return to God," Benkirane said, warning that Morocco would not hesitate to retaliate against any Algerian attack.

"Morocco has stood for centuries protecting the western flank of the Islamic nation and defending you… disagreement will not benefit anyone," he added.

The former premier said Muslim nations should unite despite western and eastern alliances - as Morocco and Algeria belong to different blocs, backed by the US or Russia.

Tensions have worsened between Rabat and Algiers since last year over the Western Sahara dispute, as well as Morocco establishing ties with Israel, which Algeria considers an enemy state.

Algeria backs the Polisario Front, an armed movement seeking independence for the Western Sahara region of Morocco.

While Rabat controls 80 percent of the desert territory, the rest is held by the Polisario Front which fought a 15-year war with Morocco after Spanish forces withdrew in 1975 and demands a referendum on independence.