Wide Angle

Did Morocco recall its ambassador to Saudi Arabia ?

Speaking to the Associated Press, sources from the Moroccan and Saudi governments said that Rabat has recalled its ambassador to Riyadh. They confirmed that Morocco has ceased military operations with the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s war.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman./Ph. DR
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Government officials from both Morocco and Saudi Arabia told the Associated Press (AP), Thursday, that Rabat has ceased military operations with the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s war.

«Morocco no longer takes part in military interventions or ministerial meetings in the Saudi-led coalition», wrote AP, quoting a Moroccan official who requested anonymity.

Referring to a diplomatic crisis between the two countries, the American press agency reported that the North African Kingdom «recalled» its ambassador to Riyadh for «consultation».

The decision was, reportedly, taken after Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita told Al Jazeera in an interview that «Morocco’s participation to the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen has changed».

It was indeed the first time that a Moroccan official confirms the information that has been circulating for several months, suggesting that Morocco «withdrew» its F-16 fighter jets participating to the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen.

Moreover, the Associated Press reported that Morocco «declined to host the Saudi crown prince in an unusual snub, citing the Moroccan king’s ‘busy agenda’».

Al Arabiya and Saudi Arabia's response

Contacted by Yabiladi, a well-informed source stressed that Morocco’s ambassador to Saudi-Arabia «was not recalled», explaining that Mustapha Mansouri «visited Morocco for a few days to settle some personal problems but after Al Arabiya broadcast its infamous report on the Polisario, he has not been allowed to return to Riyadh».

Indeed, Saudi Arabia replied in its way to Nasser Bourita’s interview with Qatari TV channel Al Jazeera.

Commenting on the recent briefing hosted by the UN Security Council and chaired by the UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy Horst Köhler, the Saudi TV channel criticized Morocco's stance on the Western Sahara territorial dispute.

In a video that draws the lines of the dispute, Al Arabiya preferred to show tanks in the middle of the desert, without referring to the slightest sign of development.

The short video presenting the conflict even put on equal footing the kingdom and the Polisario Front, mentioning the «Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic» several times.

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