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Morocco stops cooperation with German embassy

March 3, 2021 at 10:57 am

German Development Minister Gerd Mueller (2nd R), Zohour Alaoui (L), the ambassador of Morocco to Germany on June 10, 2020 in Berlin [JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images]

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 US 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.

READ: Libyan parties meet in Morocco to unify stances and resume talks

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 US President Donald Trump declared Washington’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara in return for Rabat’s normalisation of relations with the occupation state of Israel, Germany called a UN 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 UN-facilitated process begun at last year’s Berlin meeting.

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