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Showing posts with the label Maghreb

Severance of Iran-Morocco ties: Algiers responds to Rabat's "baseless" allegations

Algerian authorities rejected Wednesday as "completely baseless" Morocco's allegations in the aftermath of the cut of diplomatic relations with Iran, over the alleged Teheran's support of the Polisario Front implicating "indirectly Algeria."
Morocco's ambassador to Algiers was received Wednesday by the secretary general of the ministry of Foreign Affairs who expressed "Algerian authorities' rejection of the completely baseless statements, made by its Foreign Minister while announcing the breakdown of diplomatic relations between Morocco and the Islamic Republic of Iran, and which indirectly implicate Algeria," said the spokesman of the ministry of Foreign Affairs Abdelaziz Benali Cherif.
The Foreign Affairs' spokesperson responded to the allegations made, the day before, by Morocco's minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, who announced at a news conference in Rabat that Morocco had decided to cu…

Messahel to meet with UN SG Personal Envoy for Western Sahara Thursday in Berlin

Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel on Thursday will fly to Berlin where he will hold talks with the Personal Envoy of the United Nations (UN) Secretary General for Western Sahara Horst Kohler part of the mission entrusted to him by the UN Security Council, announced the Foreign Ministry in a communiqué.As part of a trip around the region in last October, Kohler was received by President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika and held talks with Premier Ahmed Ouyahia and the Foreign Minister.

Car bombs kill dozens in Libyan city of Benghazi

(PA) -- A spokesman for military and police forces in Benghazi said the first explosion in the Salmani neighbourhood took place at about 8.20pm on Tuesday.Captain Tarek Alkharraz said the second went off half an hour later as residents and medics gathered to evacuate the wounded.Local health official Hani Belras Ali said 27 people died and 32 were wounded.No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings.The United Nations condemned the attack on social media, saying that direct or indiscriminate attacks on civilians are prohibited under international humanitarian law and constitute war crimes.

Christian Science Monitor: Monarchy has almost full control on press in Morocco

The famous Boston newspaper The Christian Science Monitor addresses, in a thorough investigation, the extent of censorship on Morocco where Monarchy has a complete control on press, reinforcing trend on self-censorship.
In this regard, the government in Morocco uses several ways “to stifle the press: harassment, arrest, fines, suspension and economic pressure from advertisers close to the monarchy,” according to this investigation funded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
The daily underlines that Morocco “overhauled its speech and press laws, a move the country heralded as a major step toward a free press” with the intent of “decriminalizing all speech that does not incite violence.”

These restrictions do not “leave much room for critical coverage of the most influential issues in Morocco,” such as the popular protest led by movement known as Hirak, noted the investigation citing the report of the American NGO Human Rights Watch on the free speech in Morocco.
“As a conseque…

Sahrawi government announces arresting group of Moroccan drug smugglers

The Sahrawi government announced on Monday that a unit of the Sahrawi People's Liberation Army (SPLA) has arrest a group of smugglers of 19 Moroccans called al-Hamala who are transporting drugs to the east of Moroccan military wall.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of National Defense, a vehicle used for transfer operation was confiscated, while another vehicle managed escape. (SPS)

PSC meets without Morocco, AU calls for end of occupation of Western Sahara

ADDIS ABEBA- Saharawi Foreign Minister Mohamed Salem Ould Salek said the absence of Morocco at the meeting of the African Union's Peace and Security Council (PSC), held Monday in Addis Ababa, did not prevent the AU from maintaining its positions in favour of the settlement of the conflict of Western Sahara, occupied by Morocco since 1975, Saharawi news agency SPS has reported. "The absence of Morocco at the meeting, which was the first test, did not prevent the African Union from maintaining its constant position in favour of the end of occupation of Western Sahara," Ould Salek, adding that Morocco's policy is contrary to the goals and principles of the AU.  Morocco's "empty chair" policy, since its adherence to the African Union "as the 55th member, has not prevented the Council from taking decisions relating to the Saharawi cause." The Saharawi FM, who took part to the PSC meeting alongside the other Council's members, said the absence o…

AU membership governed by clear criteria, without preconditions

African Union membership is governed by "clear criteria" without "preconditions," said Monday in Oran African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui, during a press conference held at the end of the 4th High-Level Seminar on Peace and Security in Africa.
"Any country seeking to join the African Union should consider itself like the other members with the same rights and duties," he added.
Chergui underlined that Africans have constantly reiterated the "importance of the Union as a tool for the protection of the continent and boosting its development," adding that "they are not ready to put this major organization in a delicate situation."
"We welcome any country that respects those criteria but not to the detriment of another State and without preconditions, because the laws of the Organization do not allow it."
The 4th High-Level Seminar on Peace and Security in Africa culminated in the adoption of a series …

EU-Morocco agricultural agreement doesn’t apply to Western Sahara

BRUSSELS- The agreement between the European Union (EU) and Morocco, signed in 2012, on the mutual liberalization of the trade of agricultural and fishing products can’t apply to the territory of Western Sahara, concluded Wednesday the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). “... Considering the status of Western Sahara as a separate and distinct territory in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the peoples’ self-determination principle, it is excluded to consider that the expression “territory of the Moroccan Kingdom,” which defines the territorial field of the association and liberalisation agreements, includes Western Sahara, and therefore these agreements do not apply to this territory,” said CJEU in a communiqué. CJEU reaffirmed the findings of its advocate general, submitted on 13 September 2016, underlining that the association and liberalization agreements concluded between EU and Morocco are not applicable to Western Sahara. The Court, which reached a …

Western Sahara: France supports search for "just, lasting and mutually agreed" solution

France supports the search for a "just, lasting and mutually agreed" solution to Western Sahara conflict, reaffirmed on Tuesday the French foreign ministry spokesperson. "The position of France about this issue is known and constant. France supports the search for a just, lasting and mutually agreed solution, under the aegis of the United Nations and in compliance with the Security Council resolutions," spokesman Romain Nadal told an online news conference. To a question on the reception of a Sahrawi human rights defenders delegation at the French Foreign Ministry, as reported Monday by APS, the spokesman said that representatives of associations held discussion on Western Sahara at the Quai d’Orsay. "At their request, representatives of associations held discussions on 23 November with the Foreign Ministry’s competent services about the issue of Western Sahara," he said. Those discussions are "part of the regular dialogue conducted by the French dip…

Western Sahara: Algeria supports negotiation process between Morocco, Polisario

Algeria, through Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, has reaffirmed its support to the negotiation process between Morocco and the Polisario Front in order to find a definitive solution to Western Sahara conflict, allowing Saharawi people to enjoy their right to self-determination. In an interview with pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat (Friday's issue), Sellal said the settlement of "Western Sahara conflict is sponsored by the United Nations and there is a negotiation process between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), on the basis of the right to self-determination."  Algeria "backs the process and hopes that the negotiations will quickly end by a definitive and fair settlement to the conflict."