Morocco-Algeria: Diplomatic Crisis Hinders Regional Integration

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The diplomatic crisis between Morocco and Algeria has serious implications for commercial transactions between the two neighboring countries, which has affected regional integration.

“There are definitely consequences behind the hardening of the crisis between Morocco and Algeria, taking the example of business for being the largest sector affected due to the age-old and commercial connections that bind both countries. Not to mention that the breakdown of diplomatic relations in August by Algeria, followed by the closure of the airspace to Moroccan planes, have led only to tension in relations that were already delicate”, the newspaper “Le Monde” pointed out.

In addition, Algeria, in its exclusion policy, has shown its willingness to break the contract related to the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline (GME), which since 1996 connects Algerian deposits to Europe via Morocco and which is about to expire at the end of October, making those expectations of a continuing efficient regional economic cooperation ruined.

Moroccan specialists indicated that Morocco anticipates and adapts to the decisions made by Algiers. According to the economist ‘’Laarbi Jaidi’’, contrary to Algeria’s expectations, the breach of the gas contract does not raise insurmountable constraints for Morocco. The country has been acting for years to diversify its energy policy, access alternative sources to power its hydropower plants. The shortfall in transit tax resources is insignificant for public finances”

According to the boss of a large Moroccan exporting company, the Algerian market does not mean anything for Moroccan companies that have found partners elsewhere. Even if Algiers carried out its threats and stopped its imports and contracts with Morocco, the country’s economy will never be affected.

By Nouhaila El Bouhli

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