Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra says the country has officially cut off ties with Morocco over an extended conflict revolving around the Western Sahara.

Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra says the country has officially cut off ties with Morocco over an extended conflict revolving around the Western Sahara.

However, Morocco’s Foreign Ministry in a statement on Twitter said it regretted the unjustified but expected decision in view of the escalation observed in recent weeks.

It also rejects the misleading, even absurd, pretexts underlying the decision. According to the statement, the Kingdom will continue to be a loyal partner for the Algerian people.

Morocco claimed large parts of Western Sahara, while Algeria backs the Polisario movement, which was fighting for the territory’s independence.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump had promised to approve Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, and Morocco normalised relations with Israel in return. But the move prompted fears in Algeria that Israel might provide military support for Rabat, which could have a destabilising effect.