The use of the undivided Moroccan map by the US State Department and CIA shut down pro-Polisario claims that Biden’s administration is reconsidering Trump’s decision on Western Sahara.
Rabat – The US State Department is using an integral map of Morocco that includes the Western Sahara region.
The State Department features Morocco’s undivided map in the Travel.State.Gov, a website that helps US citizens wishing to travel to the North African country to collect information about the country.
The website also provides information to US citizens about the COVID-19 status in the country.
The official use of the undivided map of Morocco in the US State Department reflects the US’ position on the Sahara conflict.
On December 10, former US President Donald Trump announced US recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.
“Morocco recognized the United States in 1777. It is thus fitting we recognize their sovereignty over the Western Sahara,” the former president wrote on Twitter.
The decision to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara stunned Polisario’s supporters.
Polisario, Algeria, and South Africa have all condemned the move, expressing their wish to see the decision reversed after Trump left the White House.
Some Polisario supporters in the US, including some senators, recently addressed a letter to US President Joe Biden asking him to reverse Trump’s recognition.
Joe Biden’s administration, however, has repeatedly suggested the US has no intention of reversing the decision.
On February 22, the spokesperson of the state department Ned Price said there is “no update” about the US’ position regarding Morocco’s sovereignty over the region.
“I think what we have said broadly still applies,” Ned said at a press conference when asked whether the Biden White House will reconsider the terms of the former administration’s Western Sahara proclamation.
The US had used a divided map of Morocco for decades, excluding Western Sahara from Morocco.
A map from the State Department, showing a larger image of Near East Map in 2007, shows Morocco’s map divided.
The US has long been one of Morocco’s strongest allies. But while successive US administrations repeatedly lauded Morocco’s engagement in the UN-led political process in the past decade, Washington had until December 2020 shied away from providing clear support to Morocco.
For observers, the Trump administration’s unambiguous support for Morocco’s stance was the culmination of years of tacit US support for Morocco. There have been reports that all previous US administrations had been supportive of Morocco’s Autonomy Plan.
According to one such report, Morocco’s proposal for a compromise-based political solution, which the North African country submitted to the UN in 2007, was conceived and put together in collaboration with the US government.
CIA uses undivided map of Morocco
In addition to the State Department, other US official websites also adopted Morocco’s undivided map, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The CIA’s website uses an undivided map of Morocco, with no border excluding the country’s southern provinces from the country’s regions.
While the CIA adopted Morocco’s integral map since early January in the general map of Africa in its World Factbook, the body’s website’s latest use of the same undivided map hints at a permanent shift in official US cartography of Morocco.
For Morocco and most Sahara watchers, the adoption of the undivided Moroccan map by several official US websites means that Washington has no intention of reversing its newfound position on the Sahara conflict.
A number of world diplomats, including former US ambassador to Morocco David Fischer, have said that the Biden White House will most likely preserve the recent US-Morocco diplomatic breakthroughs and uphold Trump’s Western Sahara decision.
The former ambassador who left Morocco in January before the inauguration of Biden unveiled his country’s new official map of Morocco two days after Trump’s announcement.
The map includes Morocco’s southern provinces as an integral part of Morocco. During the unveiling ceremony, Fischer affirmed that the US supports Morocco’s Autonomy Plan in Western Sahara as the only solution to the dispute over the region.