Israeli Diplomat Rebuffs Algeria Criticisms

YERUSHALAYIM -
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Algeria’s Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra speaks during a news conference in Algiers, Tuesday. (Reuters/Abdelaziz Boumzar)

A day after Algeria severed relations with Morocco, citing in part the latter’s new ties with Israel, a source in the foreign ministry rebuffed comments made by the Algerian foreign minister.

An Israeli diplomatic source called his allegations “unfounded and without interest — they bring nothing new.”

“Algeria should focus on its own problems, serious economic problems especially, so its citizens can live the life they deserve, rather than trying to harm their neighbor and involve Israel in its disputes,” the source said.

Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra said that it had suspended diplomatic relations with Morocco because of “hostile actions,” following months of resurgent tensions between the North African rivals.

Lamamra also accused Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid of “senseless accusations and veiled threats,” during a visit to Morocco in which he expressed “worries about the role played by Algeria in the region.”

On his first visit to Morocco since the countries normalized ties, Lapid said his concerns were based on fears that Algeria was “getting close to Iran,” as well as “the campaign it waged against the admission of Israel as an observer member of the African Union.”

“What matters are the very good relations between Israel and Morocco,” the source added.