Algeria’s decision to block trade with Spain following a diplomatic row over Western Sahara could be a violation of European Union trade law, two senior EU officials said on Friday.
“The European Union is ready to stand up against any type of coercive measures applied against an EU Member State,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in a joint statement. “However, the EU continues to favor dialogue first to solve controversies.”
“We are assessing the implications of the Algerian actions, including the instruction given to the financial institutions to stop transactions between the two countries,” Bloomberg reported, quoting the statement.
The EU is in close contact with the Spanish government and reaching out to the Algerian authorities to rapidly clarify the situation, the statement added.
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, for his part, said Spain has not taken a single decision that affects Algeria.
“We want a relationship based on friendship, dialogue, mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs,” he stressed, adding that Spain wants to resolve a row with Algeria through swift dialogue and diplomacy.