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Algeria ‘Targeted’ in Gantz’s Visit to Morocco

Algeria ‘Targeted’ in Gantz’s Visit to Morocco

Friday, 26 November, 2021 - 10:45
Salah Goudjil speaks after being elected speaker of the upper house of parliament, or Senate, in Algiers, on February 24, 2021. (Fateh Guidoum/AP)

Head of the Algerian Senate said Thursday that his country was “targeted” by the visit of Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz to Morocco, during which both countries signed a security cooperation agreement.

“The enemies are mobilizing more and more to undermine Algeria,” which is “targeted” by this visit, Algeria’s official news agency, APS, quoted Salah Goudjil as saying.

“Today, things become clear when we see the Minister of Defense of the Zionist entity visiting a neighboring country, after the one carried out by Minister of Foreign Affairs of this entity, from where he threatened Algeria,” Goudjil added, referring to Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

Morocco and Israel signed on Wednesday a security agreement that would facilitate Rabat’s access to Israeli military technology.

The visit sparked condemnations in Algerian media.

“What Israel did not do with Egypt and Jordan in 43 years and 27 years of relations respectively, Israel is currently doing with Morocco after only 11 months of normalizing ties,” wrote the online news site, Tout sur l’Algerie.

“This step further towards a compromise... opens the way for the Israeli Mossad to put both feet on the western border of Algeria, with all the threat that this implies to the security of Maghreb,” said the daily L’Expression.

In August, Algeria announced cutting diplomatic relations with Morocco for carrying out “hostile actions.”

Morocco and Algeria have long accused one another of backing opposition movements as proxies, with Algeria's support for separatists in the disputed region of Western Sahara a particular bone of contention for Morocco.

Since a ceasefire with the Polisario in 1991, Morocco has controlled around 80 percent of the Western Sahara, where it has poured investment into development projects.

The Algerian-backed Polisario continues to call for a referendum on self-determination, according to the 1991 UN-backed ceasefire deal.

Last year the administration of then-US president Donald Trump recognized Rabat’s sovereignty over Western Sahara as a quid pro quo for Morocco normalizing ties with Israel.

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