Algeria closes airspace to Moroccan civil and military aircraft

In a statement, Algeria’s supreme security council said, it has decided to the country’s airspace to all Moroccan civil and military aircraft. The development comes less than a month after it cut diplomatic relations with the Kingdom.

It went on to add, the decision came “in view of the continued provocations and hostile practices on the Moroccan side”.

The closure of its airspace is for any aircraft carrying a Moroccan registration number, said the presidency following a meeting of the council.

Moroccan has yet to make an official response.

According to a source at Royal Air Maroc, the closure of the airspace will impact only 15 weekly flights linking Morocco with Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia.

The source described the closure as insignificant and said the relevant flights could reroute over the Mediterranean.

The airline gave no official comment on the Algerian decision.

Last month, Algeria decided to cut diplomatic ties with Morocco, citing “hostile actions” from the Kingdom, referring mainly to comments made by Morocco’s envoy in New York in favor of the self-determination of the Kabylie region in Algeria.

Algiers also accused Rabat of backing separatist group MAK, that the government has declared a terrorist organisation and has blamed the group for devastating wildfires, which has killed at least 65 people.

MAK has denied the accusations.

The border between Algeria and Morocco has been closed since 1994 with the former indicating that it will divert gas exports from a pipeline running through Morocco, which was due to be renewed later this year. Since last year, relations have deteriorated after an issue surrounding Western Sahara after years of comparative quiet. While Morocco sees Western Sahara as its own, the territory’s sovereignty has been disputed by the Polisario Front, an Algeria-backed independence movement.

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