Algeria criticizes Israel recognition of Morocco [now partners against Algeria] sovereignty over Western Sahara

Middle East Monitor  /  July 20, 2023

Algeria, on Thursday, strongly criticized Israel’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara region, saying the move is a violation of international law, Reuters reports.

Morocco considers Western Sahara its own territory, but the Algerian-backed Polisario Front wants an independent state there.

In 2020, then-US President Donald Trump recognized Morocco’s claim to the territory in return for Morocco’s resumption of diplomatic ties with Israel.

Israel, on Monday, recognized Morocco’s sovereignty.

“The decision … can in no way legitimize sovereignty over occupied Sahara lands,” the Algerian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Algeria cut diplomatic ties with Morocco in 2021, citing what it said were “hostile acts”. Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, said this year that relations between the two countries had reached “a point of no return”.

The two North African countries, which share a long border, have been locked in a bitter rivalry for decades over Western Sahara.

Earlier on Wednesday, a State Department spokesperson told reporters that the US recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara remains unchanged.