Arab League withdraws Sahara item from AL's report, after Morocco's protest
Morocco-Regional, Politics, 9/10/2001
The Arab League on Sunday withdrew an item on the Moroccan Sahara issue from its Secretary General's report to the 116th session of its foreign ministers council, after Morocco vehemently protested the inclusion of the item.
The Moroccan delegation to the League's ministerial council, convening in Cairo Sunday, voiced amazement that the League secretary general, Amr Moussa, deals in his report to the council with the Moroccan Sahara issue, using words that are in contradiction with the League charter and the resolutions and recommendations made by various Arab summits and ministerial conferences.
Minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, Mohamed Benaissa, told MAP after the first session of the Arab League ministerial council, held behind closed doors, "we protested the form and essence of this item in the secretary general's report." He added that "the quasi-totality of the ministers attending the session backed the Moroccan stand, a fact that enabled to withdraw the item from the report."
Observers said the fact that the Secretary General uses in his report the words "Western Sahara" is a serious precedent that prompted the protest of the Moroccan minister of foreign affairs and the solidarity with the Moroccan stand of the quasi totality of ministers attending the session, requesting the withdrawal of item 8 from the Secretary general's report.
The Arab League officially adopts the map of the Kingdom of Morocco that respects its territorial integrity, from Gibraltar to the borders with Mauritania and from the Atlantic ocean to the borders with Algeria, the observers said.
They noted that the Sahara conflict has never been dealt with at the Arab League summits and ministerial conferences and no side requested the Secretary General to bring up this topic at whatever level.
The Moroccan foreign minister left Cairo Sunday after he attended the opening of the 116th session of the Arab League ministerial council. The Moroccan delegation to the session is led by secretary general of the Moroccan ministry of foreign affairs and cooperation, Mohamed Rachad Bouhlal.
The session is debating a set of political and economic issues, with special emphasis on the developments of the Palestinian issue and means of securing protection to the Palestinian people.
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