Algeria strongly rejects Morocco's claims of Hezbollah-Polisario ties

2021-10-04 16:42:07
Algeria strongly rejects Morocco's claims of Hezbollah-Polisario ties

Algeria has strongly rejected Morocco’s allegations that the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah is providing military training to the Polisario separatist group, as relations between the two neighboring North African countries deteriorates.

Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced the

"lies" and "gross manipulation" by Morocco's ambassador to

Geneva after his remarks about an alleged "presence of Hezbollah

instructors in the refugee camps in Tindouf".

Algeria's Special Envoy in charge of Western Sahara and Maghreb countries, Amar Belani, said that the allegations "stem from a set of misleading lies … caused by the Moroccan regime's isolation in international institutions over its human rights violations in the Sahrawi region."

According to the Algerian diplomat, in 2018, Morocco severed its diplomatic ties with Iran under the pretext that it supports the Polisario Front, as an excuse to reap the "fruits and benefits from regional and non-regional partners".

Belani explained that the Moroccan allegations have all been refuted.

The Algerian official's response came after the Moroccan ambassador to Geneva sent letters to the ambassadors of several countries in which he claimed that there is evidence that "Hezbollah supports the Sahrawi army in the refugee camps in Tindouf."

Morocco has been in conflict with the Algeria-backed separatist Polisario group over the Western Sahara since 1975, after the Spanish occupation ended. It turned into an armed confrontation that lasted until 1991 and ended with the signing of a ceasefire agreement.

Relations between the two nations have deteriorated since last year, when the Western Sahara issue flared up after years of comparative quiet.

Algiers broke off diplomatic ties with Rabat on August 24, accusing it of "hostile actions" after months of heightened tensions between the two North African countries.

On September 22, Algeria closed its border with Morocco and banned all passenger and fighter jets over its airspace.

Morocco's normalisation of ties with Israel last year as a quid pro quo for US recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara also angered Algeria.

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