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A Wall Street Journal article on the Sahara upsets the Polisario

In an article published, Sunday, American daily the Wall Street Journal discussed the Western Sahara conflict, insisting that US officials are not interested in having a state in the Sahara. The position praised by Moroccan media angered the Polisario Front, which reacted in a long statement.

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The Tindouf camps. / Ph. DR

The Polisario Front couldn’t hide its anger regarding an article on the Sahara by the US business-focused daily The Wall Street Journal. Published on Sunday, August 11, the article which sides with Morocco has pushed the Front’s representative in the United Nations Sidi Mohamed Ammar to react.

In his long statement, relayed by the Front’s official news agency SPS, the Polisario’s representative based in New York wrote that he «reacted to Moroccan media’s report on the article of journalist Dion Nissenbaum», accusing Moroccan reporters of «deceiving the public opinion with unfounded allegations».

Sidi Mohamed Ammar said he wants to «clarify the facts and refute the allegations», ensuring that the position relayed in the article, suggesting that «the Trump administration supports Morocco in its opposition to the creation of a state in the Sahara», is allegedly just the «declaration of Moroccan and Western officials». «It does not come from US officials or institutions», he claimed.

Recalling that the US position has undergone several changes, he said, referring to the Morocco-United States Free Trade Agreement signed in July 2004, that «the US administration does not recognize Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara».

«For the United States, independence is not an option to settle the Sahara issue»

The Polisario envoy in New York also reports that «during the last two years, five official meetings between US and Sahrawi officials have been hosted at the request of the American side». For him, «US officials have never shown that they are against the idea of a Sahrawi state».

«They have always affirmed their official position (...), insisting on conducting direct negotiations between the two parties unconditionally to reach the solution mentioned by Security Council resolutions», he added. «The Moroccan propaganda is only intended to sow ambiguity and mix cards», he concluded.

In an article published on Sunday, WSJ reported that «officials involved in the talks said the U.S. has made it clear that Washington won’t support a plan that leads to a new African nation», wrote MAP, quoting the newspaper.

«Morocco and the United States do not see [independence] as an option. A new state in Africa may be less safe. If you try to establish a new country, it could create an area of which insurgents and groups like the Islamic State could take advantage and use as a sanctuary», the American journalist explained.

Journalist Dion Nissenbaum traveled to the Sahara, at the invitation of Morocco, for a report that interviews Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita. He also stated that he visited Laayoune and met pro-Polisario activists, all «under the supervision of the Moroccan authorities».

The article also discusses terrorism in the region, and its links with the Polisario, an accusation that angered the movement of Brahim Ghali.

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