Morocco's joining of AU: "Tactic doomed to failure," says Saharawi FM

Saharawi Foreign Minister Mohamed Salem Ould Salek on Wednesday described Morocco's statements about its AU membership to the detriment of Western Sahara as a "tactic doomed to failure."

Morocco, which is undergoing an "international isolation, seeks to divert the attention of the international public opinion through a number of manoeuvres, including the statement about its return to AU to the detriment of Western Sahara, an attempt doomed to fail as well as its previous schemes," Ould Salek told reporters following a meeting with Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ramtane Lamamra.

The Saharawi official pointed out that the last African Union summit, held in Kigali, Rwanda, "was an opportunity to reiterate AU's consistent position about the Saharawi cause" and to call for a referendum on Western Sahara people's self-determination.

The participants in the AU summit paid tribute to the late Saharawi President Mohamed Abdelaziz and hailed the election of the new president of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) Ibrahim Ghali.

After he stressed that African Union's positions are inalienable, the Saharawi official expressed AU's concerns about the ongoing occupation of Western Sahara territories by Morocco, mainly due to United Nations' procrastination in relation to MINURSO (UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara).

The African Union has requested from the UN General Assembly, in its capacity as the first responsible for decolonization, to set a date for the holding of a referendum on self-determination, Ould Salek said.

AU called on the Security Council to ensure the "protection of the Saharawi territories and to put an end to the despoliation of Western Sahara's resources," he added.

Most African countries support the just cause of Western Sahara, the SADR official stressed.

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