Morocco’s government welcomes the new US’s Morocco-friendly spending bill as Rabat’s diplomatic efforts appears to be bearing fruits.
Rabat- Morocco’s foreign affairs ministry has positively reacted to the new US pro-Morocco spending bill, thanking its ally for what appears to be an endorsement of Morocco’s Western Sahara position.
President Trump signed the new bill yesterday as he announced a definite end to the government shutdown that paralyzed federal activities for three weeks in January.
In its section on US funds to Morocco, the new bill explicitly includes Western Sahara, suggesting that, in terms of foreign aid, Washington considers the disputed territories as part of Morocco.
“The funds appropriated [to Morocco] under Title III shall also be made available for assistance in the Sahara,” reads part of the bill.
While the bill’s language is reserved, diplomatic, and does not appear to overtly embrace Morocco’s position, its pro-Morocco sentiment is unmistakable, the ministry said in a statement.
In its response, the Moroccan foreign affairs ministry said that US Congress’ adopting of the bill and the president’s signing and turning it into a law pointed to the strong alliance binding the two countries.
“The US executive and legislative powers, embodied respectively by the President and the two Houses of the Congress, agree to consider the Sahara region as an integral part of Morocco and to make it benefit from co-operation funds in the same way as all the other regions of the Kingdom,” the ministry said in its statement.
Also included in the new bill is a section where that called for greater collaboration between the US administration and special UN bodies, especially UNHCR and the World Food Program, to submit “report to the Congress on the measures taken to strengthen the monitoring of the delivery of humanitarian aid to refugees in the region of North Africa.”
According to the ministry, that section is an obvious reference to Tindouf camps refugees. It said the section is an indication that Washington has taken into account Morocco’s repeated demands in recent years that more international action be taken to prevent Polisario’s perceived embezzlement and mismanagement of humanitarian assistance to the Tindouf camps.