Saied receives Polisario chief, Morocco summons ambassador to Tunisia
Morocco summons its ambassador to Tunisia for immediate consultations after the Tunisian president received the head of the Polisario Front.
Morocco has decided not to participate in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) summit to be held in Tunisia and to recall its ambassador to Tunis for consultations after Tunisian President Kais Saied received Brahim Ghali, the head of the Western Sahara independence movement, the Polisario Front.
"After recently multiplying positions and negative acts against the Kingdom of Morocco and its higher interests, the attitude of Tunisia in the TICAD (Japan-Africa Cooperation Forum) process has confirmed its hostility," the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed in a statement.
"Against the advice of Japan and in violation of the preparation process and the established rules, Tunisia decided unilaterally to invite the separatist entity," said the statement, referring to the Polisario Front.
The Moroccan ministry claimed that "The reception given by the Tunisian Head of State to the leader of the separatist militia is a serious and unprecedented act, which deeply offends the feelings of the Moroccan people and its forces."
"Faced with this hostile and detrimental attitude to the brotherly relations that the two countries have always maintained, the Kingdom of Morocco has decided not to participate in the 8th TICAD Summit to be held in Tunisia on 27 and 28 August and to immediately recall the Ambassador of His Majesty the King in Tunis for consultations," the statement indicated.
Earlier, Tunisian President Kais Saied received at Carthage airport the Secretary-General of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, who came to participate in the TICAD.
The TICAD Summit is an open and inclusive forum that brings together all African countries and development partners, including international and regional organizations, donor countries, Asian countries, the private sector, and civil society organizations, working in the field of development in Africa.
The Polisario Front has fought with Morocco since the 1970s over the control of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony that was later transferred to the control of Morocco and Mauritania.
An UN-brokered ceasefire deal was reached in 1991 and the UN Security Council voted in favor of holding a referendum to define the status of the territory, but Moroccan authorities, who control nearly 80% of the vast desert region rich in phosphates and marine resources, have since opposed any vote that includes independence as an option, supporting the idea of limited autonomy only.
Washington supports Morocco's autonomy plan
In early March, the United States expressed support for Morocco's autonomy plan in Western Sahara.
During a visit to Rabat, US Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, said, "We continue to view Morocco's autonomy plan as serious, credible and realistic."
Recognition of "sovereignty" in exchange for normalization
It is noteworthy that former US President Donald Trump's administration recognized Morocco's "sovereignty" over Western Sahara in exchange for normalization with "Israel".