Although the communiqué issued by the Spanish Council of Ministers did not mention the name of the country in question or the ambassador, an Algerian source indicated that it was Abdelfettah Daghmoum, former number 2 at the Algerian embassy in Spain. He is therefore an astute diplomat with a good knowledge of the Iberian Peninsula who succeeds Saïd Moussi, who was appointed in Paris after being recalled from his post in Madrid in March 2022.
Angered by Spanish President Pedro Sánchez's comments in favour of Morocco's 2007 autonomy plan to resolve the Western Sahara issue, Algiers recalled its ambassador to Madrid before deciding to freeze the friendship and cooperation agreement with Spain two months later.
It was an inexplicable tempest in a teapot. Algiers did not react so violently when the United States of America, through former President Trump, went further and merely recognised the Moroccan Sahara. So did the Arab and African countries that recognised the Moroccan Sahara and opened consulates in Dakhla and Laayoune, the two main cities in the territory disputed by the Polisario, aided by Algeria, with the Cherifian kingdom.
The dispute lasted 19 months. The Algiers regime was counting on Pedro Sánchez's defeat in the last Spanish legislative elections. He failed. Despite his party's defeat, the game of alliances kept Sánchez in place.
On the other side of the Mediterranean, no longer able to withstand the effects of the crisis between the two countries, contacts were finally resumed at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York last September. Algiers considered that the Spanish President's speech had moved in the direction he wanted. In the end, all this dispute has achieved is to plunge Algerians into a food crisis marked by long queues for basic foodstuffs, many of which are imported from Spain, as well as certain raw materials used in the manufacture of biometric documents such as passports, driving licences and national identity cards. The losses suffered by Spanish companies as a result of this diplomatic conflict in Algiers are the least of their worries.