McDonalds Morocco sorry for 'offensive' meal

Happy Meal toy showed map with no Western Sahara


A Moroccan subsidiary of the fast food restaurant chain McDonalds apologized for cutting Western Sahara off a map of the country included on its "Happy Meal" children's toys, MAP agency reported Monday.

"The toys included a small map on which the borders were incorrectly drawn. We profoundly regret making this mistake and we apologize to our loyal customers and our fellow citizens," said McDonald's Morocco in a statement.

MAP said bosses from the local food chain, who apologized after a joint Moroccan-Sahara association complained to the company about the error, plan to replace the offending toys that come free with a children's "Happy Meal."

The Western Sahara dispute is a very sensitive issue in Morocco, which is at loggerheads with Algeria, since Rabat annexed the area in 1975 following the withdrawal of former colonial power Spain.

Both countries claim the piece of land that lies between the two nations and Rabat was at war with the Tripoli-backed separatists, Polisario Front, before both sides agreed to a U.N.-brokered ceasefire in 1991.

Rabat has offered a form of autonomy for the territory under Moroccan sovereignty, while the Polisario Front want a referendum on self-determination.