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Will Uruguay be the next Latin American country to withdraw recognition of «SADR» ?

Will Uruguay follow suit and withdraw recognition of the so-called «SADR» like El Salvador and Bolivia ? Currently, Montevideo has shown that it is ready to strengthen ties with Morocco.

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New Uruguay President Luis Lacalle Pou / Ph. Raul Martinez - EPA-EFE

On March 1, Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou will officially be sworn in as President of the Republic of Uruguay. Days before this major event, Pou removed the names of representatives from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela from the list of guests expected to attend his inauguration, Latin American media reported.

Ernesto Talvi, a Uruguayan politician who is tipped to serve as the country’s Foreign Minister, gave Moroccan officials signs of Uruguay distancing itself from the Polisario Front and «why not» freeze recognition of the so-called «SADR».

«Our relations are with the states and not with the leaders. They are not based on affinities but on interests», said Talvi while voicing the main objectives of his foreign policy.

2005, a difficult year for Uruguay and Morocco

The Lacalle Pou team has also decided to recognize Juan Guaido as «legitimate president of Venezuela». The decision, which Uruguay now shares with Morocco, could pave the way for a rapprochement between Rabat and Montevideo in the coming months. In fact, ties between Uruguay and Morocco were affected by the Latin American country’s recognition of «SADR» on December 26, 2005.

The decision was a surprise to former Prime Minister Driss Jettou at the time, knowing that on March 1 of the same year a large Moroccan delegation led by Abbas El Fassi, then Minister of State, attended the inauguration of Tabaré Vázquez and held meetings with Vice-President Nin Novoa and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Reynaldo Gargano. The Western Sahara question was in the heart of El Fassi's talks with his Uruguayan counterpart.

Feeling changes with the arrival of the «red wave» in Latin America, the Kingdom had taken the opportunity to mobilize its politico-governmental officials to set course for the region with the mission of better explaining the position of Morocco on the Sahara.

Mohamed El Yazghi, who served as Minister of Regional Planning, the Environment and Water at the time, had thus been sent on July 26, 2005 to Uruguay. On August 3 of the same year, it was the turn of Mohand Laenser, then Minister of Agriculture, to visit Uruguay.

However, these efforts could not achieve the expected results. The left coalition government of «Frente Amplio» (Enlarged Front) preferred to prioritize ideology by establishing diplomatic relations with «SADR». This recognition came after those of South Africa (September 2004) and Kenya (June 2005).

The «red wave» is now witnessing a difficult phase, which could be an opportunity for Morocco to convince Uruguay of withdrawing recognition of the self-proclaimed «SADR».

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