Wide Angle

After Morocco’s announcement, Lesotho makes a U-turn on its Western Sahara position

After the Moroccan Foreign Ministry announced, last week, that Lesotho has «frozen recognition of SADR», the landlocked Kingdom made a U-turn on its decision. It’s recent position was voiced, Wednesday, one day after sending a reassuring letter to the Polisario Front.

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While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced, last week, that Lesotho has «frozen its recognition of SADR», the landlocked kingdom published a press release contradicting the Morocco's version of the story.

In a communiqué sent, Wednesday, to Yabiladi, the government of the Kingdom of Lesotho said that it «has taken note of the recent anxiety and uncertainty occasion by the unfortunate, irregular publication of a confidential, State-to-State diplomatic communication between Lesotho and the Kingdom Morocco».

By the same token, the southern Africa country stressed that it «expressed to both Morocco and the SADR [it’s] continued and unconditional support for Morocco’s withdrawal from the Sahrawi territories it is currently occupying and respect for the self-determination and territorial integrity of the SADR and its people».

Lesotho's U-turn position

Lesotho’s statement comes after it sent, Tuesday, a reassuring letter to the Polisario Front. In its note, the Lesotho government «reiterated its support to SADR and underscored its commitment to the bilateral relations and cooperation that have so happily subsisted between the two sister courtiers for decades».

Commenting on this recent decision, a source close to the file told Yabiladi, Thursday, that the position of Lesotho has created a «wave of incomprehension».

«On October 4, Lesotho sent the Moroccan Foreign Ministry a note, in which it explains its position», the same source explains. Lesotho «decides to suspend all statements and decisions related to the status of Western Sahara and ‘SADR’ pending the outcome of the United Nations Process», said the Southern Africa country in the note sent last week to Morocco and obtained by Yabiladi.

The same source stressed that, contrary to what has been said in Lesotho’s second communiqué, the note wasn’t «confidential». «Once it is sent to Morocco, the note becomes an official document», the same source argued.

«The note referring to the UN political process and the position of Lesotho regarding the conflict was also probably sent to the UN and the African Union», the same source concluded.

For the record, Morocco’s Foreign Ministry announced, Friday, that the landlocked kingdom encircled by South Africa froze its recognition of «SADR». It further explained that Maseru «supports the UN-led political process» and prefers to observe «positive neutrality» when it comes to regional and international meetings.

Article modified on : 10/10/2019 17h17

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