Morocco’s response to Algeria’s allegations of a supposed real estate ‘confiscation’

The Algerian authorities have issued a press statement concerning a so-called “confiscation of the premises of its diplomatic representations in Morocco”. The unfounded allegations contained in this press statement call for the following clarifications:
1. The premises of the Chancellery and Residence of the former Algerian Embassy in Rabat are not subject to any procedure.
Contrary to what the Algerian authorities claim, the Chancellery and Residence of the former Algerian Embassy in Rabat – whose land was donated by the Moroccan authorities – have not been “confiscated” in any way. These premises remain respected and protected by the Moroccan authorities, even in the absence of privileges and immunities following Algeria’s unilateral severance of diplomatic relations.
2. Only one building was subject to discussions with the Algerian authorities. It is an unused building immediately adjacent to the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
3. In recent years, enlargement of the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has involved several diplomatic buildings, notably those of Côte d’Ivoire and Switzerland.
4. For more than two years, the Algerian authorities have been closely involved and duly informed upstream and at every stage, in full transparency.
As early as January 2022, the Ministry officially informed the Algerian authorities on several occasions of the Moroccan government’s wish to acquire the premises. The Algerian Consul
General in Casablanca was received at the Ministry no less than 4 times. In addition, 8 official letters were sent to the Algerian authorities, who replied with no less than 5 official letters.
5. Moreover, in two of their letters, the Algerian authorities responded to the Moroccan offer by indicating that they were “assesment of the value of these assets is underway and that it will communicate its conclusions as soon as finalized”, before adding that “the liberation of the premises and the removal of its contents will take place in accordance with diplomatic practice once the sale operation has been duly completed”.
In a separate letter, the Algerian authorities also informed, in writing, that they had “decided to initiate a procedure of expropriation for public utility of certain properties in the area near
the People’s Palace, and consequently to repossess the residence of the ambassador of the Morocco” in Algiers.
6. Contrary to the approximations contained in the communiqué issued by the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Morocco fully assumes its responsibilities and obligations under
the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Even though diplomatic relations were severed by Algeria’s unilateral decision on August 24, 2021, Morocco is assuming its responsibilities and complying with its duties under the rules
and customs of diplomacy.
As a result, property belonging to the Algerian state which no longer accommodates diplomatic or consular premises and no longer enjoys the privileges and immunities provided
for under international law, remains respected and protected by Moroccan law, under the general conditions applicable to property law in Morocco.
7. Morocco has never resorted to escalation or provocation. The Kingdom has always worked to preserve a relationship of good neighborliness between the two countries and brotherhood between the two peoples.
It is against this backdrop that proceedings concerning the premises in question have come to a standstill.