Algeria Snaps Ties With Spain

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Algeria suspends friendship treaty with Spain over Western Sahara issue

Algeria has announced suspension of the Treaty of Friendship, Good-neighbourliness and Cooperation signed with Spain 20 years ago to protest Madrid’s shift in position on Western Sahara.

Wednesday’s announcement came hours after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez reportedly said his government’s policy shift on Western Sahara has “improved (Spain’s) bilateral relations with Morocco”, reports Xinhua news agency

In March, the Spanish government shifted its long-standing position on Western Sahara by endorsing Morocco’s autonomy plan for the territory, paving the way for easing diplomatic tensions between the two kingdoms.

The new Spanish position “violates international legitimacy, and directly contributes to the deterioration of the situation in Western Sahara and the region as a whole”, the Algerian statement said.

  The friendship treaty agreed on October 8, 2002 with Spain has framed the development of bilateral relations between Algiers and Madrid, it noted.

 Western Sahara is claimed by Morocco, but the Algeria-based Polisario Front movement has been fighting for its independence. Algeria recalled its ambassador to Madrid in March after the position shift of the Spanish government on Western Sahara.

 Meanwhile, Algeria and France have been working on reviving their bilateral relations, said French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian during his visit to the North African country.

France and Algeria “were working on reviving bilateral relations,” said Le Drian after his meeting with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, adding that “Algeria and France share historical, deep and multiple human relations that bring together the two peoples.”

The French top diplomat said the two countries’ cooperation on security is indispensable in the region, while stressing the urgency of relaunching the transition process in Libya and improving the situation in the Sahel region.

He said that France and Algeria also share major challenges amid the situation in Ukraine and its repercussions on Europe’s security and international stability, noting that Europe has to diversify energy resources.

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Le Drian said the two countries agreed to resume dialogue on a number of cooperation activities including immigration and the fight against terrorism.

This is Le Drian’s second visit to Algeria within four months.

France has been trying to mend its ties with Algeria, which were soured by Algeria’s decision to recall its ambassador to France in October 2021 in protest over French President Emmanuel Macron’s critical remarks against Algeria. Macron criticized the “political-military system” in Algeria, a former French colony, for rewriting Algerian history and fomenting “hatred” toward France

Israel Ties

Morocco and Israel have agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in high-tech innovation and scientific research.

Moroccan Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation Abdellatif Miraoui, and visiting Israeli Innovation, Science and Technology Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen signed a scientific cooperation agreement on Thursday in Rabat, which also covers artificial intelligence, agricultural technologies, and water management, Xinhua news agency reported, citing official RIM radio.

“I am thankful for the honor to come to Morocco following the Abraham Accords and sign an important cooperation agreement,” Farkash-Hacohen was quoted as saying.

“Together we will address challenges in the sectors of renewable energy, water technologies, transportation, science, environment, and health,” she told a signing ceremony.

  For his part, Miraoui said the agreement will advance cooperation between universities of both countries and scientific research programs in green energy, sustainable agriculture, health and modern industries.

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