Wide Angle

Algeria says Morocco’s consul left at its request, Rabat rejects the «ridiculous» claims

While Algeria’s Foreign Affairs ministry has said that the Moroccan consul had left Oran at its request, Morocco rejects the claims, insisting that the diplomat was rather summoned by Rabat.

Belaïd Mohand-Oussaïd, the spokesperson of the Algerian Foreign ministry. / DR
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On Tuesday, the spokesperson of the Algerian Foreign ministry announced that «the Moroccan consul had indeed left the national territory at the request of Algeria», adding that the attitude of the diplomat was not surprising because he is «a Moroccan intelligence officer».

The spokesperson’s remarks come as a response to a viral video that showed the Moroccan diplomat calling Algeria an «enemy country» when talking to a group of Moroccans that had been stranded in Algeria over the coronavirus lockdown. The diplomat left Oran weeks later.

After a moment of hesitation, Morocco’s Foreign Affairs minister ended up commenting on the Algerian statement. «Morocco first thought that it would not react to these irresponsible statements that we have been used to for decades. However, given the extreme gravity of such remarks, Morocco expresses its dismay at these allegations», Nasser Bourita told the state news agency.

He, furthermore, «wondered about the real motivations behind this new escalation and the permanent will of Algeria to create a climate of suspicion, which goes against all the rules of good neighborliness». «Morocco rejects these ridiculous and baseless claims», the Minister said, adding that «the consul general of the Kingdom in Oran is an official hired by the ministry and has a 28-year-old career of service within the ministry and abroad».

Morocco recalled its consul in Oran

Nasser Bourita announced that he had taken the initiative to call his Algerian counterpart, to tell him that, whatever the veracity of the words attributed to the consul, Morocco had decided to recall him immediately.

Bourita referred to a phone call he had with Sabri Boukadoum on May 15. For the record «an authorized source within the Moroccan embassy in Algiers» had told Le360 that the video was «edited». Moreover, Nasser Bourita insisted that «at no time has the Kingdom received any formal request from the Algerian authorities to recall its consul general».

On Tuesday, the Minister of Communication and official spokesperson for the presidency of the republic said that diplomat Boutaher Aherdan left Oran «at the request of Algeria».

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