Algeria closes airspace to all Moroccan planes | Aviation News
The presidency declared that this decision comes “in view of the continuous provocations and hostile practices on the Moroccan side”.
The Algerian presidency has announced the closure of the country’s airspace to all Moroccan planes, according to the presidency, in the latest dispute between the two neighbors who disagree mainly over Western Sahara.
This decision was announced Wednesday after a meeting of the High Security Council chaired by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
According to a statement, the immediate closure affected “all civilian and military aircraft as well as those registered in Morocco”.
The decision came “in view of the provocations and persistent hostile practices on the Moroccan side,” he added.
There was no immediate reaction from Morocco.
A Royal Air Maroc (RAM) source told Reuters news agency the move would affect just 15 weekly flights between Morocco and Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt.
The source, who requested to remain anonymous, called the impact on RAM insignificant and said the affected flights could divert over the Mediterranean.
Algeria severed diplomatic relations with Morocco on August 24, accusing it of “hostile actions” after months of heightened tensions between the two North African countries.
The previous month, the Algerian foreign ministry had recalled its ambassador to Morocco and hinted at possible additional measures.
The move was linked to comments by Moroccan envoy to the United Nations Omar Hilal on Algeria’s Kabylia region, the ministry said after the envoy dragged the region into the decades-old conflict over Western Sahara. , claimed by Morocco as well as by the Polisario Front supported by Algeria.
Hilal had called during a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement for “the right to self-determination of people living in Kabylia” in reference to the Tamazight-speaking minority in Algeria.
He suggested that Algeria should not deny this while supporting self-determination for Western Sahara.
The normalization of Morocco’s relations with Israel last year in return for US recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara also angered Algiers.
The land borders between Algeria and Morocco have been closed since the early 1990s for security reasons, exacerbating friction between Algiers and Rabat, whose relations have deteriorated due to the conflict.