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Morocco suspends contact, cooperation with German embassy, organizations

BUSINESS
By Reuters | March 2nd 2021

Morocco has told government departments to cease cooperation and contacts with Germany’s embassy in the North African kingdom due in part to Berlin’s stance over Western Sahara, a senior Moroccan diplomat said on Monday.

A foreign ministry document, seen by Reuters, cited “deep disagreements” in asking all ministries and government bodies to abstain from any contact with the embassy and German aid and political organisations, without offering further details.

The senior diplomat cited Germany’s reaction to the U.S. decision in December to recognise Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, as well as its decision not to invite Morocco to an international meeting about Libya last year.

The moves showed “disregard” by German authorities, the diplomat said.

The Algeria-backed Polisario seeks independence for Western Sahara, a vast desert region Morocco has held since Spain withdrew in 1975 and which Rabat considers Morocco’s southern provinces.

After former U.S. President Donald Trump declared Washington’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, Germany called a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss the issue.

Morocco has over the past year played a role in Libyan diplomatic negotiations, hosting talks between members of the country’s rival parliaments, outside the U.N.-facilitated process begun at last year’s Berlin meeting.

The German embassy in Rabat was not immediately available to comment.

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