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Algeria closes airspace to all Moroccan planes

·1-min read

Algeria has closed its airspace to all Moroccan planes, the presidency said on Wednesday, in the latest dispute between the two countries at odds mainly over Western Sahara.

"The High Security Council has decided to shut its airspace immediately to all civilian and military aircraft as well as to those registered in Morocco," said a statement.

Algeria broke off diplomatic ties with its neighbour Morocco on August 24, accusing it of "hostile actions" after months of heightened tensions between the two North African countries.

The decision to close Algeria's airspace was announced after a meeting of the High Security Council chaired by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

The presidency said the meeting examined the situation on Algeria's border with Morocco and took into account "the continuation of provocations and hostile practices by Morocco".

Algeria is the key foreign backer of the Polisario Front, which has for decades fought Morocco for the independence of Western Sahara.

Morocco sees the former Spanish colony as an integral part of its territory.

The sparsely-populated desert territory boasts significant phosphate resources and a long Atlantic coastline with access to rich fishing waters.

Morocco's normalisation of ties with Israel last year as a quid pro quo for US recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara also angered Algiers.

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