Gulf states back Morocco on Sahara territory
Morocco’s monarch urged Gulf monarchies to stand by his country to protect it from ‘plots against its territorial integrity’
Gulf monarchies on Wednesday voiced support for Morocco’s claim over the Sahara during a joint summit in Riyadh, where Moroccan King Mohammed VI spoke of a “dangerous” situation.
“We stress our support to all political and security causes that are important for your brotherly country, mainly the Sahara,” Saudi King Salman said at the opening of the summit of leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the North African nation.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, the GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
King Salman stressed the GCC’s “categorical rejection of any harm to the interests of Morocco” over the disputed territory, where the Algiers-backed Polisario Front demands independence.
Morocco’s monarch urged Gulf monarchies to stand by his country to protect it from “plots against its territorial integrity,” adding that the UN Security Council’s annual Sahara discussions in April were being used “to blackmail Morocco”.
He accused UN chief Ban Ki-moon of being used in a “war by proxy” against Morocco through his “biased statements”.
“The situation is dangerous this time. It is unprecedented in the dispute” over the desert territory, he said.
Morocco was infuriated when Ban last month referred to the “occupation” of the Sahara during a visit to a Sahrawi refugee camp in Algeria.
Morocco rejected an explanation from Ban’s office that his remarks were not deliberate and that he regretted the “misunderstandings.”