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Algeria closes its airspace to Moroccan military and civil aviation

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Algeria has closed its airspace to Moroccan military and civil aviation, according to a statement released by the Algerian Presidency.

The Algerian Supreme Security Council, headed by the President of the Republic, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and the Minister of National Defense, decided to close the airspace of all Moroccan civil and military aircraft, as well as those bearing a Moroccan registration number starting Wednesday.

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The statement added that the decision was taken “because of the continued Moroccan provocations and hostile practices.”

Last month, Algeria cut diplomatic relations with Morocco, Foreign Minister Ramdane Lamamra said, accusing its neighbor of “hostile actions.”

Algeria had previously said that it would be reviewing its relations with Morocco after “hostile acts,” according to an earlier statement from the presidency.

“The incessant hostile acts carried out by Morocco against Algeria have necessitated the review of relations between the two countries and the intensification of security controls on the western borders,” the Algerian statement said.

In July, the Algerian foreign ministry recalled its ambassador to Morocco and hinted at possible further measures in the latest flare-up of tension between the North African neighbors over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

The Polisario Front is fighting for the independence for Western Sahara, a Spanish colony until mid-1970s now largely occupied and administered by Morocco.

Land borders between Algeria and Morocco have been shut since the early 1990s over security, aggravating friction between Algiers and Rabat whose relations have been worsening due to the conflict.

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