International

Algeria Denies Assault of Moroccan Diplomat, Claims Incident is 'Staged'

Rabat - Algeria has denied Morocco’s accusations that an Algerian official physically assaulted a Moroccan diplomat during a United Nations meeting in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Abdelaziz Benali Cherif, denied Morocco’s accusations against Soufiane Mimouni, the ministry’s General Director, whom the kingdom said physically attacked the assistant of Morocco’s ambassador to Saint Lucia during a meeting of the UN Commission on Decolonization in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Thursday.

Cherif used a whole set of adjectives to deny Morocco’s accusations, claiming they are “invented, unfounded, false, untruthful and have no link whatsoever with reality.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson went even further by claiming the incident was “lamely staged” by the Moroccan delegation, adding that “it is a scenario to which we have been accustomed.”

He subsequently accused the Moroccan delegation of “harassment” and proceeding to “physical assault attempts” against “a young Algerian diplomat,” which “required intervention from Saint Lucia authorities to provide protection for her.”

The UN commission meeting was marked by another heated argument between the Moroccan and Algerian delegations over the presence of the Polisario Front.

Benali Cherif said what he claimed was a “staged incident” is the result of “the Moroccan diplomacy’s failure” to “deprive Sahrawis from their right to self-determination.”

In the aftermath of the incident, the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the assault of the Moroccan diplomat, saying the Algerian ambassador’s behavior was “unprecedented” and “going against all diplomatic etiquette”.

Nasser Bourita, Morocco’s chief diplomat, said the assault against the Moroccan official is a proof of “the degree of nervousness of the Algerian diplomacy.”

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