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Joe Biden’s Defense nominee avoids a question of James Inhofe on the Sahara

President-elect Joe Biden’s intended nominee for Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin and James Inhofe. / DR
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American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Oklahoma James Inhofe questioned President-elect Joe Biden’s intended nominee for Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, tuesday, at the committee’s hearing to consider the nomination.

During this Senate hearing, Inhofe asked Austin on the organization of a referendum in Western Sahara. The Senator mentioned false information when addressing the subject. In fact, he claimed that «most all of the 52 nations of Africa have all stated that the Western Sahara should have a referendum for self-determination».

This is astonishing affirmation, especially as Morocco has succeeded in persuading more than 17 countries of the African Union to open diplomatic representations in Dakhla or Laayoune, which stands as a recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over the territory.

Also, a letter signed in July 2016 by 28 AU members requested the suspension of «SADR» the AU. But despite this pressure, General Austin remained calm. «Well, that's an issue that certainly would want to take a closer look at, Mr. Chairman, before I gave you a detailed answer. That is one of the things that I'll look at, if confirmed, right away, going into the position», Austin answered.

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