210824 Algeria
Algeria's Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra holds a press conference in the capital Algiers, on August 24, 2021. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Algeria severed diplomatic relations with Morocco on Tuesday, due to the latter’s “hostile actions”, Algeria’s Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra said.

The move comes after Algeria last week said it would review its relations with Morocco after accusing it of complicity in deadly forest fires that ravaged the country’s north.

“Algeria has decided to cut diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Morocco from today,” the minister announced during a press conference.

“History has shown that the Kingdom of Morocco has never stopped carrying out hostile actions against Algeria,” Lamamra added.

The cutting of diplomatic relations is effective from Tuesday but consulates in each country will remain open, Lamamra said.

The forest fires in Algeria, which broke out on August 9 amid a blistering heatwave, burned tens of thousands of hectares of forest and killed at least 90 people, including more than 30 soldiers.

Algerian authorities have pointed the finger for the fires at the independence movement of the mainly Berber region of Kabylie, which extends along the Mediterranean coast east of the capital Algiers.

The authorities have also accused the Movement for Self-determination of Kabylie (MAK) of involvement in the lynching of a man falsely accused of arson, an incident that sparked outrage.

Morocco and Algeria have had strained relations for decades, mainly over the issue of Western Sahara, and the border between the two countries has been closed since 1994.