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Algerian FM Messahel's remarks prompt Morocco to recall its Ambassador to Algeria

Algerian FM Messahel's remarks prompt Morocco to recall its Ambassador to Algeria”

Moroccan authorities have chose to recall the country's ambassador from neighboring Algeria after the Algerian foreign minister accused the Moroccan government institutions of having a hand in the financing and trafficking of hashish trade, APA reports quoting Press TV.

The accusations were made by Abdelkader Messahel, Algeria's top diplomat at a meeting with business leaders in Algiers with reports revealing that Morocco's foreign ministry had also summoned the Algerian charge d'affaires in Rabat over the "very serious" and "false claims".

He was discussing the sharp increase in investment by Moroccan banks in sub-Saharan Africa in recent years and their competition with Algerian lenders.

Messahel said on Friday that banks in Morocco were clearly laundering money obtained from hashish trade.

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

Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel made his comments at a meeting of business leaders in Algiers on Friday, excerpts of which were widely circulated on social media.

The statement also noted that Messahel's remarks coincide with the tour the new UNSG's personal envoy for the Sahara is undertaking in the region, at a time the Morocco-proposed autonomy initiative is gaining more and more support as a solution to the regional conflict. The Algerian Minister's remarks about banking institutions and national carriers show a deep, inexcusable ignorance of the basic standards underlying the banking and civil aviation systems nationally and internationally, it said, referring to "actions that the national economic institutions defamed by the Algerian minister, could take".

Northern Morocco is a key producer of hashish for export to Europe. Authorities have also tried to tolerate consumption of hashish as an indispensable component of the local culture.

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



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