Algerian foreign ministry Thursday said it recalled its ambassador in Côte d’Ivoire for consultation over the recent inauguration of a consulate in Laayoune, the capital of Western Sahara, considered by Morocco as Moroccan Sahara.
“The ministry of foreign affairs has decided to recall, for consultations, the Algerian ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, following sibylline and insidious statements from the Ivorian Minister of African Integration and Ivorian Expatriates Ally Coulibaly during the inauguration of a so-called Côte d’Ivoire consulate in Laayoune, in the Western Sahara,” the Algerian ministry said in a statement.
The ministry also insisted that the inauguration flies in the face of the objectives conferred to the constitution act of the African Union (AU), notably the imperative unity and solidarity among African people and the defense of the territorial integrity and the independence of member countries of the AU.
The West African country on Tuesday opened a mission in the capital of the disputed territory stressing that the move is in line with history and the continuity of Abidjan position on Morocco’s sovereignty over the territory.
The Algeria-backed Polisario front is challenging Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara.
The separatist movement claims the independence of the territory which statehood has not been recognized by the international community nor the UN. Morocco has presented the global body an autonomous status plan, welcomed by several countries as serious and credible.
Last month, South Africa refused to play the AFCON Futsal in the city of Laayoune after it failed to convince the African football governing body CAF to relocate the tournament to a different venue.