A few days ago, human rights activist Mahrez Lamari stated that "Morocco's policy of intransigence, confrontation, delaying tactics and suspicious intentions are now increasingly exposed". In statements sent to the ECSAHARAUI media, he strongly attacked Morocco, claiming that "through the normalisation of its relations with Israel, the Kingdom of Morocco and its Makhzen will stab the Palestinian people behind their backs and openly show the mission and role of a submissive executive in the pay of Israel's strategy and policy of hatred in the region".
It seemed clear that Moroccan-Algerian relations were not at their best. But now Algeria has officially stated its intention to reconsider its relations with Morocco due to "repeated hostile acts" from Rabat. The communiqué itself reads: "Morocco's repeated hostile acts against Algeria (make it necessary) to review relations between the two countries". Already last Sunday, the Algerian Foreign Ministry criticised statements made by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid during his visit to Morocco last week.
Algeria sees Morocco as a strong ally of Israel that can go further. The ministry itself considers that there is a 'hidden desire' on the part of Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita 'to drag his new Middle Eastern ally (referring to the Israelis) into a dangerous adventure directed against Algeria, its values and its principles'. However, one of the consequences of the Algerians' unease was Lapid's statements criticising the Algerians for launching a campaign, with the help of other Arab countries, against the African Union's (AU) decision to grant Tel Aviv observer status.
It should not be forgotten that disagreements between Algeria and Morocco are nothing new either. One of the issues that has given Moroccan diplomacy the most headaches has been the dispute over the Western Sahara. There, it has always encountered Algerian support for the separatist Polisario group. Rabat insists on its right to govern the region, but proposes an autonomous government in Western Sahara under its sovereignty.
For its part, the Polisario Front wants a referendum for the people to determine the future of the region. Algeria has supported the Front's proposal and is hosting a large number of refugees from the region. And it has not been the only gesture that has shown the rift between the two countries on this issue. Last June, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboun visited the head of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, and thanked Spain for providing him with health care when he tested positive for COVID-19.
The tension that has been building up for so long between Morocco and Algeria has finally been made official with a communiqué that puts relations between the two countries in check and could finally bring the Moroccans closer to their Israeli allies. Although King Mohammed VI stated that "the media and diplomatic tensions that agitate relations between Morocco and Algeria, which damage the image of the two countries and leave a negative impression", the reality is that these words are at odds with the actions of the two countries, which have continued to drift apart to the point of having to reconsider their relations, which have been hit so hard.