Egypt, Sudan and other Arab nations are all urging Algeria and Morocco to patch a diplomatic rift after Algeria decided last week to unilaterally break off all ties with Morocco, citing a series of hostile acts.

Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra made the announcement on Aug. 24 sending shockwaves across North Africa. Both countries have western allies and are relied upon to fight regional terrorism.

“Morocco has turned its territory into a platform allowing foreign powers to speak with hostility about Algeria,” Lamamra said referring to remarks by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in Morocco in which he referred to Algeria’s effort to stop Israel from having observer status in the African Union. “Since 1948, no Israeli official made a hostile declaration to an Arab country from another Arab country.”

Algeria also accused Morocco of using Israeli-spyware against its officials, a charge that Morocco denies.

Relations between the two countries have been at an impasse since 1994 over the disputed desert territory of the Sahara between Rabat and the Polisario Front, which is backed by Algeria. Their border has been closed since then when Morocco began requiring visas for Algerian nationals after a bomb attack in Marrakesh.

Algeria supports the liberation movement in the Western desert, which it seeks to control, and Morocco supports the independence movements in Algeria, which belongs to the Berber regions in Algeria.

Amid tensions between the two countries, Algeria accused Morocco of instructing members of the rebel movements in Algeria to set wildfires in the country, which led to the deaths of 97 people, including 30 Algerian troops. Morocco offered to send planes to Algeria to help extinguish the fires.

Algeria arrested 69  people in connection with the fires who said they received orders to start the fires from the anti-Algerian separatist movement, MAK, supported by Morocco. The movement demands the independence of the Berber region from Algeria.

The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that “Morocco rejects this unjustified decision. The pretext is fallacious and absurd.”

“The Moroccan kingdom will however remain credible and loyal to the Algerian people and will continue to act with wisdom,” the statement continued.

The United States recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara Desert region after Morocco agreed to normalize relations with Israel in December last year.

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