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Morocco slams acts of vandalism against its consulate in Spain

Skyline of Valencia, Spain [Ccmaracay2/Wikipedia]
Skyline of Valencia, Spain [Ccmaracay2/Wikipedia]

Morocco yesterday condemned the acts of vandalism and violence that targeted the kingdom's consulate in the Spanish city of Valencia.

Ambassador Karima Benyaich said the embassy was following up on acts of vandalism perpetrated by supporters of the Polisario Front, according to Maghreb Arabe Presse (MAP).

Benyaich stated that these "criminal and irresponsible acts have been carried out by a group of criminals sponsored by the separatist Polisario gang," according to the same source.

She added that the Polisario supporters replaced the Moroccan flag in the consulate in Valencia with the flag of the so-called Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

The Moroccan official added: "As an ambassador to his Majesty [Mohammed VI] in Spain, I would like to express our overwhelming indignation and condemnation in the strongest terms for these acts of vandalism and violence."

This attack, she continued, "confirms and highlights beyond doubt, similar to what happened in the Guerguerat crossing, the outlawed orientation of the sponsors of this criminal act."

READ: Turkey calls for just solution in Western Sahara

The acts of vandalism came in response to Morocco launching a military operation to stop what its Foreign Ministry called the "dangerous provocations" of the Polisario Front at the Guerguerat border crossing last week.

This came after three weeks of rising tensions between Rabat and the Polisario Front, as a result of the latter's decision to prevent Moroccan trucks from using the crossing to travel to Mauritania.

The conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front over the Western Sahara erupted in 1975, after the Spanish occupation ended. It turned into an armed confrontation that lasted until 1991 and ended with the signing of a ceasefire agreement, in which Guerguerat was designated as a buffer zone.

Rabat insists on its right to govern the region, but nevertheless proposed autonomous rule in the Western Sahara under its sovereignty, but the Polisario Front wants a referendum to let the people determine the future of the region. Algeria has been supporting the Front's proposal and hosts refugees from the region.

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