Rabat - The United Nations spokesperson declined to comment on the contents of a personal letter sent by United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, to King Mohammed VI earlier this week, saying he was told not to disclose the information
Rabat – The United Nations spokesperson declined to comment on the contents of a personal letter sent by United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, to King Mohammed VI earlier this week, saying he was told not to disclose the information
The letter was leaked earlier this week, as confirmed by Omar Hilale, Morocco’s permanent representative to the U.N.
“We have received the letter the day before yesterday and twenty-four hours later it was leaked to some stakeholders, which is contrary to the UN ethics and against diplomatic practices,” Hilale told the press.
During the international organization’s press briefing on Thursday, spokesperson Stephane Dujarric also said it was “safe to assume” that the letter concerned the ongoing row between Morocco and Ban Ki-moon regarding the status of land that Morocco considers to be its Southern Provinces. Dujarric also said it was likely that the U.N. chief diplomat is expecting a response to the letter from the Moroccan king.
“We very much hope we will be able to have discussions between senior UN officials and senior Moroccan officials,” he said. “As we’ve indicated, we would like to move forward in a positive manner on this issue.”
Word of the newly personal nature of Ban Ki-moon’s correspondence with the Moroccan monarch comes three weeks after his “spontaneous” comments referring to the country’s presence in Western Sahara as an “occupation.” The comments, which came after the U.N. leader’s tour of the Tindouf refugee camps, sparked mass protests in Rabat and among the Moroccan diaspora worldwide.
After Morocco expelled U.N. affiliated peacekeeping forces in the Saharan cities of Laayoune and Dakhla as a political reaction to the comments, a spokesperson said Ki-moon regretted the “misunderstanding” caused by his use of the contested word. Moroccans, along with the Moroccan government, did not accept the statement as a true apology.