The diplomatic crisis is growing! “Morocco” leaves Algeria

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Algeria announced on August 24 that it had decided to cut diplomatic contacts with Morocco, whose relations have been strained for decades. This tension between Algeria and Morocco is reflected in the energy lines of the region.

Algeria transported the natural gas it exports to Europe via the Maghreb gas pipeline, commissioned in 1996, passing through Moroccan territory, and the Medgaz gas pipeline, which entered service in 2011, extending directly from the Algeria to Spain.

Sonatrach, in a written statement last week, announced that it will increase the capacity of the Algeria-Spain gas pipeline from 8 billion cubic meters to 10 billion cubic meters per year from November. It was indicated that after the works to be carried out on the mentioned line, the final capacity could increase to 16 billion cubic meters per year.

According to information from the official Algerian agency APS, the Minister of Energy Muhammed Arkab expressed his determination to supply all the natural gas exported by Algeria via the Medgaz gas pipeline between the two countries, during his meeting with the Spanish Ambassador to Algeria at the end of last month. . It was reported that the Algerian minister assessed plans to expand the pipeline between the two countries in this context.

On the other hand, the fact that the contract for the gas pipeline used by Naturgy, the company of the energy consortium in Spain, above Morocco expires at the end of October and that this agreement is not renewed, confirms the prediction of the deactivation of the Moroccan line. .

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Morocco both collected tolls and supplied gas to the 12 billion cubic meter Maghreb pipeline, which was used to transport Algerian gas to Europe.


It is specified that the tension between Spain and Morocco has recently accelerated the process.

Moroccan-Spanish relations entered a tense turn in May, with Spain welcoming Ibrahim Gali, head of the Polisario Front in Western Sahara, where Rabat claims sovereignty, for treatment, and Rabat withdrew its Spanish ambassador.

In the same period, Morocco reduced its control over immigrants attempting to reach Spain. Thousands of irregular migrants have flocked to the Ceuta Peninsula, the Spanish land in North Africa.

Spanish media have written that Morocco is trying to pressure not to renew the pipeline deal going through Morocco to Spain, where it has been experiencing tensions since the last period.

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However, Moroccan authorities have denied this information, saying Rabat sees the pipeline as a “win-win” element.

The official Algerian news agency APS, on the other hand, quoting an anonymous official, strongly denied statements by Moroccan authorities that they support the gas pipeline connecting North Africa and Europe via Morocco.


Algerian energy expert Buzina Mihmah told Agence Anadolu (AA) that Algeria has approached the issue from a purely commercial point of view, considering that the Spanish agreement with Morocco will end at the end of October. .

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Emphasizing that Algeria supplied 45.7% of Spain’s natural gas needs during the first half of this year, Mihmah stressed that Algeria would not want to lose its first position in gas supply in Spain.


Algeria and Morocco have had strained relations since their independence, with disputed territories and different accusations between the parties.

The question of Western Sahara has long been one of the main elements of tension in relations between Morocco and Algeria.

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Morocco accuses Algeria of supporting the separatist Polisario Front in the Western Sahara region. Algeria is also opposed to its Moroccan neighbor’s claim to sovereignty over Western Sahara.

Claiming that the Algerians were at the origin of a terrorist attack in the city of Marrakech, the administration of Rabat began to request visas from Algerian citizens in August 1994. In response to this move by Morocco, Algeria has closed the border gates between the two countries in September 1994.

Algeria has not responded positively to calls from Morocco to open the border crossing from time to time. In a statement made by the Algerian Foreign Ministry in 2013, it was claimed that it had demanded certain conditions to open the border gate, but no results were obtained.

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As the parties accused each other of supporting and acting against terrorist groups in the two countries, the final stage of relations came when Algeria ended all diplomatic relations with Morocco on August 24.

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