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Algiers Will Not Be Doing Business with Rabat Anymore

Algeria has announced it will not renew a gas-supply agreement with Morocco days after severing diplomatic relations with its North African neighbour. Rabat is currently taking 900,000 cubic metres per year of Algerian natural gas from the Maghreb-Europe pipeline, which runs from Algeria to Spain and Portugal through Moroccan territories. The contract with Morocco expires in October. In a meeting with the Spanish ambassador, Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab said Spain’s gas would be provided in future via an alternative pipeline called Medgaz, which connects from Beni Saf in Algeria to Almeria in Spain without going through Morocco. It has capacity of eight billion cubic metres a year, which can be increased, according to Mr Arkab. On Tuesday, Algeria cut ties with Morocco, accusing Rabat of “hostile actions” for backing Tizi Ouzou separatists. Morocco has dismissed the accusations as “absurd”. The two countries have long had a fractious relationship – especially over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.