Algeria halts Friendship Treaty with Spain amid Western Sahara row
The Algerian president’s office announced on Wednesday that the North African nation was “immediately” suspending a two-decade-old friendship treaty with Spain.
"Algeria has decided the immediate suspension of the Treaty of Friendship, good neighborliness and cooperation that it concluded with Spain," said a statement by the Algerian presidency late Wednesday following a meeting for the country's high council of security headed by President Abdelmajid Tebboune.
The Algerian statement said the recent Spanish position regarding the Western Sahara dispute contradicts its legal, moral and political obligations toward the territory as being a former Spanish colony.
"This attitude of the Spanish government is a violation of the international legality that its status as an administering power imposes on it and of the efforts made by the United Nations and the new personal envoy of the Secretary General, contributing directly to the deterioration of the situation in Western Sahara and the region," the statement added.
Algeria's move came in response to Spain's stance in March in which the latter publicly recognized Morocco's autonomy plan for the disputed territory.
For his part, Spain’s foreign minister said he “regrets” Algeria’s decision to “immediately" suspend a two-decade-old friendship and cooperation treaty with his country.
The further breakdown of relations between Spain and Algeria came after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez defended his recent foreign policy shift to support Morocco’s vision for the future of the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
Meanwhile, the Spanish government says it will "firmly defend" its national interests in the wake of Algeria's decision to suspend a 20-year-old treaty of friendship and cooperation and ban all non-gas trade with Spain, the foreign minister said on Thursday.
Jose Manuel Albares told reporters Spain was also monitoring gas flows from Algeria, which account for nearly half of Spain's gas imports, and said these were unaffected by the diplomatic row over Madrid's stance on the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
North African gas supplies to Europe have grown increasingly important this year in light of Russia's military operations in Ukraine.