Morocco and Algeria UN envoys exchange criticism over disputed Sahara region – Middle East Monitor
On Monday evening, Moroccan and Algerian officials at the United Nations traded criticism of the disputed region of Western Sahara and the Polisario Front.
This happened during the Fourth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, also known as the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, which was held in New York. The meeting lasted more than two and a half hours.
Morocco is proposing expanded autonomy in the disputed region under Rabat’s sovereignty, while the Polisario Front is calling for a self-determination referendum, a proposal backed by Algeria.
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At the UN meeting, Morocco’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Omar Hilale, said the Sahara region “was and will remain Moroccan”.
While the Permanent Representative of Algeria to the United Nations, Ambassador Ennadir Larbaoui, declared that “the solution we propose represents the only solution for the Sahara region”, in reference to the referendum.
The Algerian ambassador accused Morocco of “seeking to incite world public opinion regarding the Sahara region and of working to change the issue of the end and liquidation of colonialism”.
Morocco has been in conflict with the Polisario Front over Western Sahara since 1975, after the end of the Spanish occupation. It turned into an armed confrontation that lasted until 1991 and ended with the signing of a ceasefire agreement.
The 1991 ceasefire ended last year after Morocco resumed military operations at the El Guergarat crossing, a buffer zone between territory claimed by the Moroccan state and the Sahrawi Arab Republic. self-proclaimed democracy, which the Polisario called a provocation.
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The Western Sahara issue has caused growing tensions between Morocco and Algeria, with the latter accused of supporting the Front’s separatist ambitions.
Morocco, which claims Western Sahara as its own, agreed to reestablish ties with Israel in 2020, as part of the Abraham Accords, part of which included US recognition of the kingdom’s sovereignty over the kingdom. territory.
Last year, Algeria severed diplomatic relations with Rabat, citing “a series of hostile attitudes and tendencies”. Diplomatic tensions have also arisen between Spain and Algeria, after the former changed its position by supporting Morocco’s “autonomy plan” for Western Sahara. Algeria recently threatened to cut its gas supplies to Spain if it re-exported them to Morocco.