Algeria hits back after Morocco King’s speech
The diplomatic tussle between Algiers and Rabat is showing no signs of dying down after the Algerian foreign minister urged Moroccan authorities to be up to the task. Minister Ramtane Lamamra called on Morocco to act accordingly after a trespasser scaled the Algerian consulate walls in Casablanca and tore its flag. Morocco and Algeria are neighboring countries divided over the Western Saharan issue.
Lamamra described the November 1st incident as an “insult” after it was positively acclaimed in certain quarters in Morocco. The Minister went on to deplore the fact that the trespasser who was among the protesters in front of the consulate is being “welcomed as a hero in certain circles” despite the “double crime” he has committed. Lamamra didn’t however mention those who are giving the heroic applauses.
Moroccan authorities have stated that they have arrested the individual and have promised to take “firm” actions. Tel Quel, a local weekly magazine, has reported that trials will begin on November 21st.
Hostilities between the two countries were sparked by a speech read on behalf of President Bouteflika at a conference held in Nigeria. The speech underlined the “more than ever” need of monitoring human rights in Western Sahara.
Morocco considers Western Sahara to be part of its territory. King Mohammed VI did reply to Bouteflika’s speech during his message to the nation as part of events commemorating the ‘Green March’ on 6th November. He stated that they will not be lectured “particularly by those who systematically trample on human rights”.
Lamamra minimized the king’s remark claiming that “in diplomacy, silence can be very eloquent.” He said Morocco should blame itself because “they got themself into the impasse” and “know exactly what they need to do to get out of this impasse”.