Dubai: Dark clouds are looming large over Algeria and Morocco as the two North African neighbours are locked in a new bitter stand-off and their already shaken relations are inexorably deteriorating.
On Thursday, the Moroccan government accused Algeria of being involved in the leaking of classified documents belonging to the Moroccan Foreign Ministry and the General Directorate for Studies and Documents.
The diplomatic documents that included classified papers, bank transfers and confidential correspondence were published by an anonymous hacker.
Some of the documents reportedly are not new and date several years back, but the spotlight is overwhelmingly on a territory over which Morocco has been in conflict with the Algerian-backed separatist Polisario Front group.
Speaking during the press conference that follows the government’s weekly meeting, Morocco’s Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar on Thursday said that his country would “present arguments and evidence that prove Algeria’s involvement in fueling the conflict over the Moroccan Sahara.”
Mezouar reportedly said earlier that he would prove and present evidence that Algeria was implicated in fuelling the conflict over the “Moroccan Sahara,” and that he intends to present “sufficient evidence” throughout 2015 to support his claims.
The minister said that “the leaking of classified documents belonging to Moroccan officials was carried out by Algerian secret services,” and that “most of the leaked documents relate to the same issue.”
Government Spokesperson Mustapha Al Khalfi said that the leak of the alleged confidential Moroccan classified documents “will not achieve their goals” and that “these desperate attempts will not deter us from advancing towards maintaining the territorial integrity and the defense of the nation and its institutions.”
Last month, Moroccan Deputy Foreign Minister Mbarka Bouaida said that “pro-Polisario elements” who had the support of Algeria were behind the revelations, insisting that their aim was to stall the Moroccan diplomacy.
Last week, French broadcaster France 24 said that “respected French journalist Jean-Marc Manach, who specialises in online privacy and security issues, conducted in October a thorough investigation into the leaks.”
In an article published on a French media analysis site, Manach concluded that “the analysis of hundreds of documents posted by the mysterious whistleblower…reveals that this operation, according to the best rules of the genre, skillfully blends authentic and manipulated documents,” the broadcaster said.
It added that when the French reporter asked the unidentified hacker, via social media, about the reasons for his leaks, the answer he received was “to destabilize Morocco.”