Algeria has categorically denied what it described as rumors circulating on Moroccan websites about Algeria’s request for mediation from the UAE, to restore diplomatic relations with Morocco after cutting them off following recent crises.
In this context, Algeria’s special envoy to the countries of the Maghreb and Western Sahara, Ammar Ballani, refuted these rumors. From the Emirates to restore relations with Rabat.
Rumors of requesting mediation from the UAE
In his statement, Blani explained that “these rumors are behind social media networks run by Moroccan parties that are known to be saturated with false news, some of them more fake than others.”
According to Algeria’s special envoy to the countries of the Maghreb and Western Sahara, all these rumors and false news aim to “distort Algeria’s principled positions.
Read also: Will Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune regain the reins of international politics? A report reveals the details
He pointed out that “these attacks are part of the ferocious electronic warfare scheme that is being waged against us by a hostile and hostile neighbor.”
And circulating websites and pages on social networking sites, news of Algeria making a secret offer to Morocco through Emirati mediation.
In this offer, Algeria suggests that Morocco stop talking about the Kabylie region, in exchange for Algeria to restore diplomatic relations.” According to these sites, “Morocco rejected the Algerian offer that was informed by the Emirates.”
Algeria had announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Morocco last August 24 due to positions it said were hostile against it, similar to the call by Morocco’s representative to the United Nations, Omar Hilal, the member states of the Non-Aligned Group to support the allegations of “the self-determination of the Kabylie Prime Time Zone” and his support for the “Al-Mak” organization. And “Rashad”, who are classified as terrorist organizations by Algeria, and the use of the Foreign Minister of the occupying country, the land of Morocco, to threaten Algeria.
Several Arab and European countries expressed their desire to mediate for the normalization of relations between the two countries, but Algeria categorically refused any mediation.
The severing of relations between Morocco and Algeria
And Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra had confirmed during his consultative meetings that preceded the recent meeting of Arab foreign ministers, that “the decision to cut diplomatic relations is not subject to discussion or deliberation as it is a sovereign and final decision that is irreversible,” thus rejecting any possibility of mediation between the two countries.
The Algerian newspaper, Echorouk, quoted Lamamra as saying that “Algeria’s sovereign and strict decision came in view of the serious and continuing violations by Morocco of the fundamental obligations that regulate relations between the two countries.”
Read also: Algeria escalates against Morocco and takes this provocative decision that will harm the Moroccan economy
During the meeting of Arab foreign ministers, Lamamra criticized in his speech what he considered the bullying of Morocco without naming it the state of the Israeli occupation against Algeria.
Where he said, “What is worse than that is that there are those who have become seeking the help and strength of the historical enemy to strike the brothers and directly harm the neighbour,” in reference to Morocco’s normalization with the Israeli occupation and the statements of its Foreign Minister Yair Lapid from Rabat against Algeria.
And the head of the Algerian diplomacy added, “If this is happening in the open and close to the common borders, then let us imagine what happens in secret.”
Algeria escalates against Morocco and takes this provocative decision
A few days ago, and in continuation of the Algerian campaign of escalation against Morocco after the severing of diplomatic relations, an informed Algerian source said that his country does not intend to renew the contract to supply gas to Spain through the GME pipeline that passes through Moroccan territory.
According to what the source mentioned to the Russian “Sputnik” agency, another pipeline that does not pass through Morocco will be used, and the contract to export gas to Spain through the gas pipeline passing through Moroccan territory, which expires on October 31, 2021, will not be renewed.
According to the same source, Algeria announced its commitment to ensuring the supply of all the needs of the Spanish market through the Medgaz pipeline only, and there are no talks with the Spanish side regarding the renewal of the GME pipeline contract.
Earlier, the Algerian Ministry of Energy confirmed the country’s readiness to meet Spain’s gas needs directly, through the “Med Gas” pipeline.
Read also: Algeria explicitly accuses Morocco of allowing the Israeli enemy to threaten it from Moroccan territory
It is noteworthy that the concession contract for the pipeline that supplies Spain with Algerian gas, via Morocco, expires on October 31, amid a severe diplomatic crisis between Algeria and Morocco.
This crisis reached its climax after Algeria announced its severance of relations with Rabat due to what it described as “repeated aggressive acts against it.”
Who will lose if the gas line is changed?
Many economic experts around the world said that changing the Maghreb-European gas pipeline to the Medgaz pipeline would not only harm Morocco, but would have dire consequences for Algeria and Spain. Both.
And the Spanish magazine “Atlayar” published a report, in which it talked about the severing of relations between Algeria and Morocco, which will lead to stopping the supplies of the Maghreb-European gas pipeline, by next October, which has been supplying Spain with gas, for twenty years through Moroccan territory, a decision, Singer For him a heavy loss for the three countries, albeit to varying degrees.
In its report translated by Watan newspaper, the magazine stated that Algeria severed its relations with Morocco on August 24, and only two days later announced that it wanted to transfer gas, which it supplies to Spain via the Medgaz pipeline, which indicates that it will permanently cancel the Maghreb pipeline. Europe, which mainly passes through Moroccan territory, heading to Spain.
It is worth noting that the Maghreb-Europe pipeline, with a length of more than 1,400 km, connects the Hassi R’Mel field in Algeria, through Morocco to Spanish territory. The pipeline also transports gas at an annual rate of up to 10 thousand million cubic meters.
The Medgaz pipeline, with a length of more than 750 km, which connects directly between the Algerian countryside and Spain (Almeria), became operational in 2010, and has a capacity of 8 thousand million cubic meters, but Algeria recently announced that it expanded its capacity by 25 percent, to be able to of responding to the Spanish request.
According to many experts, the decision to dispense with the Moroccan-European gas pipeline, and rely on the Trans-Mediterranean “Medgaz” pipeline, which Algeria recently announced, is due to purely political reasons, through which Algeria seeks to harm its Moroccan neighbor, but Specialists warned that this would be costly not only to Morocco, but also to Algeria as well as Spain.
On the other hand, Rabat has not officially taken any decisions yet, on the announcement of Algeria, but the local press in the country, minimized the impact of the news, noting that Morocco depends on only 5 percent of gas supplies.
Read also: What are Morocco’s alternatives to Algerian gas after the severance of relations?
According to experts, Morocco may face supply problems after this decision, especially if it does not find alternatives in the short term, because most of the natural gas it consumes comes from Algeria.
In addition, Morocco reaps a “great benefit” from the passage of the gas pipeline to Europe, knowing that it pumps 800 million cubic meters of gas for its own needs, which are added to the fees it imposes within the framework of the “passage rights” of the gas pipeline.
This decision comes at a time when Morocco is counting on increasing its supplies of natural gas, to be more suitable and competitive, so that coal will be phased out gradually. Moreover, the Moroccan Ministry of Energy forecast last month that national demand will reach more than 3 billion cubic meters by 2040.
Gas will be more expensive
According to analyst Gonzalo Escribano, director of the energy and climate program at the Elcano Royal Institute, one of the solutions that Morocco has after October 31, if the Moroccan-European gas pipeline contract is not renewed, is for Morocco to reverse the pipelines, in the section connecting the pipelines. Morocco in Spain, so that the latter supplies natural gas to Morocco from other suppliers.
However, Escripano believes, the best solution is for both parties to have a sense of cooperation and for Spain to negotiate with Algeria a possible gradual closure of the Maghreb-European gas pipeline, to find alternatives and to test the effectiveness of the Medgaz pipeline. In this context, the Spanish analyst said, “The Maghreb-European pipeline is an important element of the functional strategic cooperation that benefits all parties.”
For his part, Moroccan economist Rachid Aouraz of the Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis (MIPA) reinforces the direction of the Spanish analyst, and believes that the possible termination of the Maghreb-European pipeline, will end the opportunity to promote economic integration, in the Mediterranean region.
In conclusion, experts point out that although Algeria and Spain seem more willing to cancel this pipeline, they may suffer economic damage. This is because gas shipment will be conditional on one pipeline instead of two, and Algeria will limit its options to deal with technical accidents, if they arise, and reduce its chances of responding to the rapid increase in demand.
All this underpins the trade policy change of Russia and the US, which prioritizes Asia, as well as a potential energy crisis emerging this winter in Europe.
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