‘Wrong map’ fuels Morocco-Algeria tension

Tension has flared between Algeria and Morocco after an Algerian state channel published a map of the Arab region seen by Rabat as “wrong.”

The uproar came as Arab foreign ministers held a meeting in Algeria to prepare for the annual Arab summit, due to open on Tuesday in the capital Algiers.

In a statement on Sunday, Algerian channel AL24 News apologized “for using a map not approved by the Arab League.”

It described the use of the map as a “technical error.”

The Arab League was also quick to distance itself from the map, saying it does not have “any media partners” for the coverage of the Algeria-hosted Arab summit.

“The pan-Arab body does not adopt an official map on which political borders of the Arab countries are shown, including the Kingdom of Morocco. Rather, it adopts a map of the Arab world without showing the boundaries between countries in order to reinforce the concept of Arab unity,” it added in a statement.

Initial media reports said the Moroccan delegation had walked out of the preparatory meeting in protest of the map, but the reports were denied by a Moroccan diplomat.

The diplomat told the state news agency that the delegation remained in the meeting, but protested the use of the map by the Algerian television.

Algeria and Morocco are regional rivals with their ties strained over the disputed Western Sahara region.

Last year, Algeria severed diplomatic relations with Morocco, accusing Rabat of having "hostile tendencies," an accusation denied by Moroccan authorities.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

Source: Anadolu Agency