Morocco reacts to Sweden by blocking Ikea store opening
Authorities also called off the opening of an Ikea plant planned for Sept. 29, local media reported
Morocco’s first Ikea will not be opening its doors to shoppers on Tuesday, as had previously been planned, after the kingdom’s authorities blocked the event due to a lack of permits, local media reported.
Authorities also called off the opening of an Ikea plant planned for Sept. 29, Morocco World News reported citing Le360 news website.
“We as a franchisor are in contact with the franchisee in Morocco, and we know that they are working on opening the store. But the store has not been ready for opening, that is why they have not opened yet.” Kaisa Lyckdal, who works at the press relations office at Inter IKEA Systems, told Al Arabiya News.
The cancellations come after reports emerged that Sweden - Ikea’s home country - is preparing to recognize “Sahrawi Republic” - a state self-proclaimed by the “Polisario Front Western Sahara.”
Morocco controls most of Western Sahara since 1975, and says it is part of its territory.
The government did not elaborate on the store’s permit problems. IKEA’s Moroccan subsidiary told local media that the opening of the 26,000-square-meter store was canceled.
Sweden has been a supporter of Western Saharan self-determination, while activists say France and Spain are supporting the Moroccan side.