South Sudan rejects Morocco’s request to severe ties with Sahrawi
South Sudan has rejected Morocco’s request for it to severe diplomatic ties with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, saying it supports the position of the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) on the matter.
NEW YORK – South Sudan has rejected Morocco’s request for it to severe diplomatic ties with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, saying it supports the position of the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) on the matter.
The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is a partially recognised state, recognised by 41 UN member states, located in the western Maghreb, which claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara, but controls only the easternmost one-fifth of that territory.
On Tuesday, South Sudan’s Vice President for Services Cluster, Hussein Abdelbagi Akol met and held discussions with the Sahrawi Minister of Foreign Affairs on the sidelines of the 77th regular session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
The two leaders discussed bilateral relations, how to advance the interests of Africans, advocate for peace, security and supporting more than a decade-old policy in which they supported the continental body’s call for free self-determination of the Sahrawi people.
The meeting between the two leaders angered the Moroccan government, which protested in a letter it sent to the South Sudanese embassy in the North African country.
However, South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs ministry informed the Kingdom of Morocco government that “the meeting between our delegation and the Sahrawi Minister of Foreign Affairs does not negate our strategic bilateral relations with the kingdom.”
“The Republic of South Sudan is a member of the African Union and the United Nations and would want to reiterate that it does not see it fit to have contrary views to the position of the African Union and UN [Security Council] Resolution 690, as a viable engagement framework to find a lasting solution over the dispute on Western Sahara”, it added.
Juba further said it has not deviated from supporting the AU and UN’s position which insists the Sahrawi people be allowed to decide their future.
“South Sudan’s leadership and the government position on the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is fully supportive of the decision of the Organization of African Unity turned African Union to admit SADR to its membership on 22nd August 1982, and the AU Charter which calls for the unquestionable and inalienable right of a people to self-determination,” stressed the ministry’s statement.
In 2017, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI visited South Sudan and held talks with President Salva Kiir aimed at “promoting friendship and solidarity” between both nations. The visit came at the time Morroco was seeking support to return to the AU.
Foreign policy experts, however, argue that the position of South Sudan would have backpedaled a decade-old policy in which African countries generally support calls for a referendum in a region Morocco claims is part of its territory.
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