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Algeria ends 2-decade friendship treaty with Spain over Western Sahara

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, during his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, March 30, 2022.   -  
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Algeria suspended Wednesday a "treaty of friendship […] and cooperation" concluded in 2002 with Spain.

It is at the end of a meeting of the Algerian High Security Council chaired by President Tebboune, that the announcement was made.

Spain regretted Algiers’ decision, adding it "considers Algeria a friend" and remained open "to develop the special relationship of cooperation between the two countries".

The treaty provided for the strengthening of political dialogue between Spain and Algeria and the development of cooperation in fields including economy and education.

The move comes after Madrid altered its long-standing position on Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, to back Morocco's autonomy project for Western Sahara. Algiers called it a "violation of [Spain's] legal, moral and political obligations".

The vast desert area bordering the Atlantic and Mauritania has been claimed by Rabat and Western Sahara since 1975. Western Sahara clings to a self-determination referendum that wasprovided by the 1991 ceasefire agreement reached under the mediation of the UN in order to settle the dispute. However, Morocco suggests autonomy under its sovereignty.

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