Morocco politician claims Algeria pushed Rabat-Israel deal

Moroccan party leader claims Algerian 'harassment' led to Morocco-Israel normalisation
1 min read
07 December, 2021
The head of Morocco's former ruling party accused neighbouring Algeria of harassing his country and pushing it to normalise ties with Israel
Benkirane said Algeria has closed the border with Morocco because it knows Algerians love the Moroccan people [Getty-file photo]

The head of Morocco's former ruling Justice and Development party, Abdelilah Benkirane, placed blame on Algeria Monday for pushing his country to establish ties with Israel.

"Morocco's relations with Israel are old, but without Algeria, they would not have reached this point," said the leader of the Islamist party and former prime minister of Morocco.

Benkirane accused Algeria - which cut off ties with Rabat this summer - of "harassing Morocco for 40 years", and said that his party will defend the Moroccan king in the event of a war.

"The Algerian regime has wronged Morocco and is using oil and gas funds to destabilise the kingdom," the party leader added, claiming that Algeria had closed its borders with Morocco due to "its fear of the Algerian (peoples) love for Moroccans".

Relations between the North African neighbours have been fraught following Morocco's normalisation with Israel last year, and US recognition of the kingdom's sovereignty over Western Sahara.

Algeria backs the Polisario Front movement in the disputed territory, which wants independence. It has cited "hostile actions" by Morocco, something the kingdom denies.