Morocco Will Never Recognize W. Sahara

Morocco Will Never Recognize W. SaharaMorocco Will Never Recognize W. Sahara

Morocco will “never recognize” Western Sahara’s independence despite rejoining the African Union after a decades-long dispute over the territory, Deputy Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said in remarks published on Sunday.

Last Monday, the AU approved Morocco’s reentry into the bloc it quit in 1984 in protest at the admission of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic declared by the Polisario Front at the height of a war for the territory, Yahoo News reported.

“Not only does Morocco not recognize—and will never recognize—this so-called entity,” Bourita told website Le Desk in an interview.

“It will (also) redouble its efforts so the small minority of countries, particularly African, which recognize it, change their positions.”

“AU membership would not change Morocco’s stance that the Western Sahara is an integral part of its territory,” he said.

Monday’s summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, followed an intense diplomatic battle with the Polisario’s backers, led by Algeria and South Africa, which opposed Morocco rejoining the AU.

Those countries “have spent months doing everything they can to prevent our return, until the last minute,” a senior Moroccan diplomat who did not wish to be identified told AFP.

“The Addis summit was a setback for them,” he said, adding that they are now working hard “to present this failure as a success”.

The Polisario and its allies say Morocco’s return to the African bloc implies recognition of SADR’s borders.

“This is nonsense from the point of view of international law and state practice,” Bourita told Le Desk.

Joining “an international forum in the presence of an unrecognized entity cannot imply the state’s recognition of that entity”, he said.

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