You are here

UN chief regrets 'misunderstanding' over Western Sahara

37875914 - 26_03_2016 - LEBANON-UN-SYRIA-CONFLICT-REFUGEES.jpg
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon's recent remarks about Western Sahara, which outraged Morocco and soured relations, were not deliberate and he regrets the "misunderstanding," his spokesman said Monday.

[UNITED NATIONS, UNITED STATES] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon's recent remarks about Western Sahara, which outraged Morocco and soured relations, were not deliberate and he regrets the "misunderstanding," his spokesman said Monday.

Morocco was infuriated when Mr Ban earlier this month referred to the "occupation" of Western Sahara, a disputed territory, during his visit to a refugee camp in Algeria.

"We regret the misunderstandings and consequences that this personal expression of solicitude provoked," spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

"His use of the word was not planned, nor was it deliberate, it was a spontaneous, personal reaction."

sentifi.com

Market voices on:

Mr Ban's comments crossed a red line for Morocco, which considers the former Spanish territory, which it annexed in 1975, as an integral part of the country, proposing self-government for the region under Moroccan sovereignty.

In retaliation for the remark, Morocco expelled most of the civilian experts attached to the UN mission and closed a military liaison office.

Mr Dujarric stressed that Mr Ban had not intended to offend Morocco and that the United Nations, which is leading mediation efforts in the dispute, "has not and will not take sides on the issue of Western Sahara".

AFP

grab

Receive $80 Grab vouchers valid for use on all Grab services except GrabHitch and GrabShuttle when you subscribe to BT All-Digital at only $0.99*/month.

Find out more at btsub.sg/promo

Powered by GET.comGetCom