RABAT, Morocco — Morocco has recalled its ambassador to Algeria after the Algerian foreign minister claimed Moroccan banks launder money from hashish trafficking.
In a statement issued Saturday, Morocco’s Foreign Ministry called Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel’s remarks “very serious,” ”false” and “of an unprecedented level of irresponsibility in the history of bilateral relations.”
Messahel said during a debate with business leaders in Algeria’s capital Friday that neighboring Morocco’s banks were “laundering money from hashish.” He also said Morocco’s national airline, Royal Air Maroc, “carries something other than passengers.”
Algeria and Morocco have tense diplomatic relations, mainly over the Western Sahara. Morocco annexed the former Spanish colony in 1975, but the independence-seeking Polisario Front is trying to claim the territory with Algeria’s help. The borders separating the North African countries have been closed since 1994.