Algerian politician reportedly fled to Morocco over extradition concerns

Rabat – Amar Saadani, the former secretary general of the party in power in Algeria, the National Liberation Front (FLN), is said to have requested political asylum in Morocco.

The Algerian newspaper Le Soir d’Algerie cited sources claiming that Ammar had been targeted by Algerian justice in 2018.

Saadani’s concerns grew after Aleria sentenced several former senior officials to heavy sentences as part of the country’s “accountability” reforms.

Saadani moved from France to Portugal a few months ago and fears extradition following the signing of an agreement between Algiers and Paris.

“He would then have chosen to take refuge in Morocco”, fearing extradition, argued the Algerian media.

Amar Saadani, who is also president of the Algerian National People’s Assembly, frustrated many in the corridors of power in Algiers when he sharply criticized Algeria’s position on Western Sahara in a 2019 interview.

Speaking to TSA, one of Algeria’s main French-speaking news organizations, Saadani condemned Algeria’s decision to support and fund the Polisario.

The Sahara is “Moroccan and nothing else,” Amar said, citing historical facts.

Also read:Algeria: Hirak marks the 111th demonstration on Friday in a climate of global indifference

Algeria has “paid enormous sums [of money] for the so-called Polisario for fifty years, ”he continued.

He urged Algiers and Rabat to transcend their differences, arguing that the cultural, social and historical ties between the two countries are greater than their disagreement over the Sahara conflict.

In his interview, the politician also stressed that the Sahara issue “must end”.

Algeria and Morocco have enjoyed cold diplomatic relations for decades. In addition to the constant denigration of Algeria in Morocco on the question of Western Sahara, the borders between the two countries have been closed since 1994.

Algeria closed the border with Morocco after Rabat imposed visa regulations on Algerian citizens. Morocco’s decision follows a terrorist attack on the Atlas Asni hotel in Marrakech.

Despite Morocco’s efforts in recent years to restore relations with Algeria, successive Algerian regimes have rejected Rabat’s offer of dialogue and have continued to cultivate hostility towards Morocco.

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