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Timeline: Algeria and Morocco’s diplomatic disputes


Algiers and Rabat are involved in another spat as Morocco condemns ‘provocative’ acts at a football tournament in Algeria.

Morocco and Algeria are involved in another diplomatic spat after Rabat condemned “provocative” acts and “transgressions” at the opening of a regional football tournament in Algeria.

The North African neighbours are locked in a bitter rivalry over the disputed territory of Western Sahara, where the Algerian-backed Polisario movement seeks an independence referendum.

Here are the most prominent tensions between the two countries over the past decades:

October 1963:

Algeria and Morocco confronted each other militarily over a border dispute in the so-called Sand War in October 1963 following Algeria’s independence on July 5, 1962. Algeria said it repelled Moroccan ambitions for land on the border, while Rabat said it retaliated against the border provocations of the Egyptian-backed Algerian army.

1969 and 1972:

The two countries signed a two-phase border demarcation and good-neighbourliness treaty in 1969 and 1972 as a culmination of the end of the war and the border dispute.


Rabat announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Algiers in protest against the latter’s decision to join a number of mostly African countries recognising the unilateral decision of the Polisario Front to establish the so-called Sahrawi Arab Republic.


The two countries signed an agreement to normalise relations and restore diplomatic ties following Saudi mediation. The leaders of both countries exchanged visits as a testament to normalisation.

August 1994:

Rabat accused Algerian intelligence of being behind a bombing in the western Moroccan city of Marrakesh and imposed an entry visa requirement on Algerians. Algeria responded by closing its land border with Morocco, which is still in force.


Then-Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika attended the funeral of King Hassan II, who died on July 23, 1999, in Morocco as an attempt to mend the relations between the two Arab countries. However, no significant breakthrough was achieved.

June 2005:

Bilateral relations warmed as Rabat prepared for a visit by the then-Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and his delegation to sign several agreements. But the visit was cancelled at the last minute with Rabat saying the time was not right, a gesture Algeria called an insult.

Source: Al Jazeera