Algeria will not renew a gas sales and transit deal with Morocco, just two days after ending diplomatic relations with Rabat, although the Algiers government has been at pains to point out this will not affect gas exports to Spain, which will now be routed through the MedGaz pipeline.

Algiers cut ties with Morocco on 24 August, accusing Rabat of “hostile actions” for backing Berber separatists in northern Algeria, an allegation that Morocco described as “absurd”.

The two North African neighbours have always had an uneasy relationship, mainly related to Algiers’ history of providing political, financial and military support for an independent Western Sahara — which its indigenous population calls the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).