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Morocco recalls Algeria ambassador after national airline 'drug trafficking accusations' Open in fullscreen

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Morocco recalls Algeria ambassador after national airline 'drug trafficking accusations'

Morocco has called a Chargé d’Affaires after Algeria accused Rabat of drug trafficking [AFP]

Date of publication: 21 October, 2017

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Morocco has recalled its ambassador from Algiers after Algeria's foreign minister accursed its national airline of trafficking drugs.

Morocco recalled its ambassador from Algiers on Friday after Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel accused the country's national airline of trafficking drugs.

Speaking to African business leaders, Messahel accused Royal Air of Maroc of "carrying more than just passengers on the airline" to sub-Saharan Africa, in the latest war-of-words with the country's  neighbour.

He had also accused Moroccan banks of capitalising on the sale of cannabis, adding that there is "no other country is better than Algeria".

Morocco was quick to dismiss Messahel's remarks as "childish" and "irresponsible".

"Following the very serious statements of the minister of foreign affairs of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria - concerning the African policy of the Kingdom of Morocco, the Moroccan ambassador to Algiers was summoned tonight - at the headquarters of the ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation," Morocco's foreign ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement.

The statement condemned the "the irresponsible, even "childish", nature of these statements, which came from the head of Algerian diplomacy, who was supposed to express the official positions of his country at the international level".

The statement added that the "unfounded declarations" will not undermine Africa's cooperation with African countries.

Morocco and Algeria's relationship over the past decades has been strained with border crossings between the two countries closed.

Morocco accuses Algeria of supporting Western Sahara separatist groups.

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