Algeria vehemently criticized Israel’s acknowledgment of Moroccan sovereignty over the contested Western Sahara region on Thursday, condemning the move as a violation of international law.
Morocco regards Western Sahara as its own territory, while the Algerian-backed Polisario Front seeks an independent state in the region.
In 2020, former U.S. president Donald Trump recognized Morocco’s territorial claim over the region as part of an agreement that led to Morocco resuming diplomatic relations with Israel.
On Monday, Israel officially recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over the region.
“The decision… can in no way legitimize sovereignty over occupied Sahara lands”, the Algerian Foreign ministry said in statement.
In 2021, Algeria severed diplomatic relations with Morocco, citing what it deemed “hostile acts.” President Abdelmadjid Tebboune declared this year that the relations between the two countries had reached “a point of no return.”
The two North African countries, which have a lengthy shared border, have been embroiled in a bitter rivalry for decades concerning Western Sahara.
Earlier on Wednesday, a State Department spokesperson informed reporters that the U.S. stance on recognizing Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara remains unchanged.