Algeria was omitted from Vitor in full diplomatic tension with the Sánchez government

In the 2023 edition of Fitur, 131 countries from all over the world will participate. A number that reflects the recovery after the pandemic, the most important tourism exhibition in the world. But there will also be absences. Russia, which has yet to submit a request to stand at Ifema after the dispute, will not be present, nor will Algeria, whose government has maintained diplomatic tensions with Spain since last year following Pedro Sanchez’s executive recognition of Moroccan sovereignty. in the Western Sahara.

Algeria has been participating in the last editions of FITUR, except for 2021 when the fair was running at 50% capacity due to the pandemic. He was also present last year. But suddenly this year the Algerian delegation decided not to come to Madrid. And sources close to organizing the event indicate that the state has allocated space for participation, but a few days ago it announced the cancellation of the event. These same informants maintain that there is no specific reason for this last-minute drop.

But the truth is that this is when Spain and Algeria are not having their best diplomatic moment. After recognizing Moroccan autonomy in Western Sahara, a decision that cost Spanish companies the trade blockade, tensions escalated after the massive shipment of gas from Spain to Morocco via the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline.

For 25 years, this pipeline supplied the Moroccan country from the Algerian deposits of Hassi Rum, but it closed in 2021 after political tensions between the two countries.

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far away

The representation of Algeria in Vitor is not as relevant as that of other North African countries such as Morocco itself or Egypt, but its departure this year increases the political positions between the Sanchez government and Algeria. This is also happening at a time when Spanish companies active in Algeria continue without solutions to the trade embargo. Hundreds of millions of euros of projects have stopped on Algerian soil and the collections are still in the air.

In general, Spanish tourism is preparing to celebrate its great annual event, which will kick off next Wednesday. 200,000 visitors between professionals and the general public will pass through Ifema over the next week, in an edition that the organization estimates will leave around 400 million euros in the Madrid community.

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