Algeria grants access to its airspace for Morocco quake aid flights

Algeria has declared that it will permit aircraft carrying humanitarian assistance for earthquake-affected Morocco to traverse its airspace, marking the suspension of a two-year restriction on flights to its regional adversary, president’s office announced on Saturday.

A powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck a mountainous region southwest of the popular Moroccan tourist destination, Marrakesh, late on Friday, resulting in the loss of over 1,000 lives, with at least 1,200 individuals sustaining injuries and extensive damage across the affected area.

Algerian authorities “have decided to open the airspace to flights transporting humanitarian aid and injured” from the quake, the president’s office said in a statement.

In September 2021, Algeria closed its airspace to all Moroccan aircraft following the severance of diplomatic relations with its longstanding adversary.

Despite the rivalry between the North African neighbours, Algerian authorities were “fully prepared to provide humanitarian aid and mobilise all material and human resources in solidarity with the brotherly Moroccan people upon request from the Kingdom of Morocco”, the statement said.

In a previous statement, the Algerian foreign ministry extended its “sincere condolences to the brotherly Moroccan people for the victims of the earthquake”.

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