Alwaght- Algeria summoned the Moroccan envoy to protest accusations that Algiers had helped facilitate alleged Iranian support for the separatist Polisario Front in the African kingdom.
Speaking to Algeria’s official news agency APS, Algerian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abdulaziz bin Ali al-Sharif said Moroccan ambassador Hasan Abdulhalik was summoned to the Foreign Ministry late Wednesday.
Sharif said the ambassador was informed that the Algerian government completely rejects "untrue statements" made Tuesday by Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita which were indirectly attributed to Algeria.
Later the same day, Polisario officials also denied any collaboration between the Front and Hezbollah, the Sahara Press Service (SPS) reported.
“The Moroccan government’s claims are baseless,” SPS quoted Paris-based Front representative Bashir Abi Bouchraya as saying, calling on Rabat to “provide evidence of its assertions”.
On Tuesday, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita announced that his country had severed ties with Iran over alleged ties between Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Polisario.
Morocco claimed the Iranian Embassy would extend the support to the militants via the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah's members.
Hezbollah has also vehemently rejected the allegation, saying in a statement that Morocco had decided to cut ties with Iran under “American, Israeli and Saudi pressure.”
Iran has also firmly rejected Morocco’s allegation of ties between Tehran’s Embassy in Algeria and the Polisario Front, a Western Sahara separatist movement.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Wednesday that there is no cooperation between the Iranian diplomatic mission in Algiers and the Algeria-backed movement. “We need to clearly emphasize once again that one of the most fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy in its relations with other governments and countries in the world has been and will continue to be deep respect for their sovereignty and security as well as non-interference in the domestic affairs of other states,” he said.
Morocco maintains that Western Sahara, also known as Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), a former Spanish colony under its control, is an integral part of the kingdom, while the Polisario Front demands a referendum on self-determination.