UK Refuses to Support Trump on Morocco’s Claim to Western Sahara as Polisario Front Vows to Fight On

World

The Western Sahara is a huge area of desert bordering the Atlantic Ocean, sandwiched between Morocco and Mauritania. In 1975 the Spanish abandoned the former colony and Morocco laid claim to it.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Friday, 11 December, London would not go along with the United States, which formally recognised Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara.

The outgoing US President, Donald Trump,  tweeted on Thursday, 10 December, that  his administration was recognising Morocco’s claim to sovereignty at the same time as it welcomed Rabat’s decision to normalise relations with Israel.

In 1975 Morocco laid claim to the former Spanish Sahara and fought a 16-year war with the Polisario Front, which proclaimed a Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

The war ended in a ceasefire in 1991 and the Moroccans agreed to hold a referendum on whether the territory should be independent or part of Morocco. That referendum has never been held and thousands of Saharawis remain in refugee camps near Tindouf in neighbouring Algeria.

The Polisario Front has vowed to continue the fight against Morocco.

The SADR’s foreign minister Mohamed Salem Ould Salek said: “Fighting will continue until the total withdrawal of the Moroccan occupation troops.”

Morocco’s decision to normalise relations with Israel follows in the wake of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

Earlier this year the French website Intelligence…

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