New York - The United States has just lent a tacit support to Morocco in the diplomatic row that pits it against United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
New York – The United States has just lent a tacit support to Morocco in the diplomatic row that pits it against United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
During a phone conversation he held on Wednesday with King Mohammed VI, US Secretary of State, John Kerry assured the Moroccan monarch that the US position on the Western Sahara “remains unchanged.”
“His Majesty King Mohammed VI hold today a phone conversation with Mr. John Kerry, US Secretary of State,” said a statement from the Royal Cabinet.
“The interview focused on the Moroccan Sahara issue,” the statement said.
“On this occasion, Mr. Kerry assured the Sovereign that the US position remains unchanged within the framework agreed jointly by His Majesty the King and President Barack Obama in November 2013 in Washington,” the statement said.
“US Secretary of State also told the Sovereign that the dialogue between the two countries would continue to achieve, on that basis, a final solution to this regional dispute,” the statement concluded.
The US’ tacit support to Morocco’s position on the territorial dispute pitting it against the Algeria-backed Polisaio comes amid an unprecedented tension between Rabat and Ban Ki-moon.
Earlier this month, the UN chief made statements that were described as “biased” in favor of the separatist group. During a trip to the Tindouf camps in southern Algeria, Ban Ki-moon described Morocco’s presence in the Western Sahara as “occupation.”
This statement stoked the ire of Rabat, which accused Ban Ki-moon of “bias and of departing from impartiality and neutrality as UN Secretary General.”
Tension between both parties escalated when the UN chief received Moroccan foreign Minister, Salaheddine Mezouar, at the United Nations headquarters on Monday March 14.
Following the meeting, the UN spokesperson issued a communique in which Ban Ki-moon expressed anger and disappointment with Morocco for the massive march that had been organized on Sunday March 13 in Rabat to denounce his “bias” in favor of the Polisario.
During a closed-door meeting of the Security Council last week, Ban Ki-moon failed to receive the support of the 15-member body.
To the UN chief’s dismay, the members of the council did not issue any statement on the dispute between Morocco and him. While he was hoping to receive the backing of the UN’s most important body, Ban Ki-moon witnessed how his unprecedented statements did not sit well many influential members of Security Council.