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Algeria stresses on Western Sahara membership in African Union

Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal
Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal

Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal has reiterated that the Western Sahara is a founding member of the African Union and Morocco has to stop calling for its membership withdrawal, ALKhaleejonline.com reported on Friday.

Speaking to the Algerian parliament, Sellal said: “The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (Western Sahara) is a founding member of the African Union and no one can ever ask it to quit this continental organisation. Calling for its leave is unreasonable.”

He added: “Algiers does not have any reservations if Morocco wanted to unconditionally return to the African Union, but there are measures have to be implemented.”

Sellal said that his country’s stance towards the Western Sahara has been clear and “we adopt the UN’s resolution and the international legitimacy regarding this issue.”

Moroccan King Mohamed VI announced on Sunday the return of his country to the African Union after 32 years of leaving it when the organisation accepted the membership of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, which was announced unilaterally by the Polisario in 1984, as a member.

The problem of the Sahara started when the Spanish occupation ended in 1975 as an armed struggle started between the polisario and Morocco that lasted until 1991 by a deal.

Morocco claims the area, which was historic part of it before the Spanish occupation. The polisario, supported by Algeria, insists on its independence.

In April 2007, the government of Morocco suggested a self-governing entity, which was proposed for the UN Security Council and won the support of France the United States. But the polisario, which controls about one third of the Sahara, insists on the independence referendum.

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