Algeria Rejects Moroccos Accusations That It Manipulated Syrian Refugees

Rabat – Algiers summoned the Moroccan ambassador to Algeria on Sunday to express its “complete rejection” of Moroccan authorities’ accusations that the country had been exploiting the Syrian refugee crisis for political aims, according to a communiqué by the Algerian Foreign MinistryThe move came after the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs met with the Algerian ambassador on April 22 to reprimand Algeria for allegedly allowing dozens of Syrian refugees to enter Morocco through their shared border.Between April 17 and 19, 54 Syrian refugees tried to illegally cross into the Moroccan region of Figuig from Algeria, said the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a communiqué. Morocco held Algeria responsible, saying the refugees could not have travelled such a long distance and crossed the border without being intercepted by Algerian authorities.The Moroccan ministry warned that “the humanitarian tragedy of Syrian populations should not be used as an element of pressure” between the two countries.“It is totally immoral and unethical to manipulate the moral and physical distress of those people to create trouble along the Moroccan-Algerian borders,” said the ministry.Algerian authorities rejected the Moroccan accusations. The Algerian Foreign Ministry said in Sunday’s communiqué that the allegations were “baseless and only intend to damage Algeria’s image,” and that these “practices are foreign to Algeria’s morality and well-established traditions of hospitality.”This is not the first time that Morocco has accused Algerian authorities of manipulating the Syrian refugee crisis against Morocco. Back in January 2014, the Kingdom condemned its neighbor’s “deliberate expulsion” of Syrians refugees into Moroccan territories. read more