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Morocco immediately withdrew its ambassador from Tunisia and expelled the Tunisian ambassador to Morocco. The reason is the visit of the leader of the Polisario to Tunisian President Said. This is the Western Sahara independence movement that Morocco has been in conflict with for nearly half a century.
Morocco “rude and hostile” describes the visit of Polisario leader Ibrahim Ghali to President Said ahead of a major international conference on African development in Tunisia. According to the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Moroccan people are in great pain. Therefore, Morocco will not attend the conference in Tunisia.
The resentment between Morocco and Tunisia stems from the conflict that Morocco has been waging with the Polisario movement since the 1970s. After Spain left the Spanish colony of Western Sahara in 1975, Morocco annexed the area.
Autonomy or autonomy
Morocco encouraged its residents to settle there, which led to an armed conflict with the indigenous population, the Sahrawis, who fought an armed struggle against Morocco under the flag of the Polisario. A ceasefire was reached in 1991 with the help of the United Nations, but the Sahrawi independence movement and Morocco did not reach an agreement.
Morocco had already promised to hold a referendum for self-determination for the population of the phosphate-rich region, but this never happened. Morocco also offered years ago to make Western Sahara an autonomous region, which would formally make it part of Morocco but would give it a high degree of autonomy. The Sahrawis never wanted the latter.
Last year, the Netherlands spoke out in favor of Morocco’s autonomy plans, as did several EU countries such as Morocco, its European neighbor, Spain. Algeria, which supports the Polisario, recently broke off an important friendship treaty with Spain on the issue of Western Sahara.
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