Algeria declares to respect all its gas commitments with Spain
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Algeria has said it will meet all of its gas commitments with Spain, days after its freezing of a two-decade-old treaty raised questions over the European nation’s energy supply.
The North African country has also called on Spanish companies to fulfill their contractual obligations, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.
Algeria announced on Wednesday that it was suspending its freedom and cooperation pact with Spain over the European country’s stance on Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony in Africa over which Morocco claims sovereignty. Algerian banks were then ordered to stop payments between Algeria and Spain.
The moves deepened a diplomatic crisis that began earlier this year when Madrid reversed its longstanding policy of neutrality and backed Morocco’s plan for limited autonomy for Western Sahara, which has been mostly under Rabat’s control since leaving Spain in the 1970s.
This helped end a Spanish-Moroccan feud, but in turn angered Algeria, which backs a movement seeking independence for the disputed territory.
Spain imports substantial amounts of natural gas from Algeria and after Wednesday’s announcement it was not immediately clear whether those flows would be affected.
Spain’s Naturgy Energy Group SA said on Thursday it was “business as usual” with Sonatrach Group, Algeria’s state-owned energy company.