United Arab Emirates supports the "territorial integrity" of Morocco

GCC, OIC and Arab Parliament support Moroccan intervention in Guerguerat
 Combinaison d'images d'archives du président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan et du président français Emmanuel Macron

PHOTO/ARCHIVO  -   GCC, OIC and Arab Parliament support Moroccan intervention in Guerguerat

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, in a statement, condemned the "provocative, desperate and unacceptable" practices of 21 October.

"The United Arab Emirates reiterated its solidarity and the firm position of the Kingdom of Morocco and its support for the decision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI to end illegal incursions into the buffer zone of El Guerguerat which links Morocco and Mauritania to ensure the movement of goods and people between the two neighbouring countries," the statement said.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC) and the Arab Parliament on Saturday expressed their support for Morocco's intervention to end the Polisario blockade at the Guerguerat border post. 

The UAE was joined by Qatar and Bahrain who supported Morocco's decision to "respond to the flagrant violations of the Polisario Front".

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PHOTO/REUTERS-UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Al Nayhan

The Gulf country also renewed its "continued support" to Morocco in all the measures it "considers necessary to defend the security of its territory and its citizens".

The United Arab Emirates is one of the states that have recently opened diplomatic representation in the southern provinces of Morocco. The opening is a tangible reflection of support for Morocco's territorial integrity.

The Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also expressed its support for Morocco in defending its sovereignty, rights, security and protection.

The Foreign Ministry condemned the hostilities of Polisario militants and their "dangerous provocations at the Guerguerat crossing point in the Moroccan Sahara".

Support from Arab institutions

GCC Secretary General Nayef Falah Mubarak al-Hajraf on Saturday expressed the Council's support for Morocco's decision to restore the movement of goods and people in the buffer zone.

In a statement, Al-Hajraf reiterated the firm position of the GCC states in support of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara.

Representing 57 countries around the world, the OIC has affirmed, through a declaration, its support for the measures taken by Morocco to secure the passage.

The president of the Arab Parliament, the legislative body of the Arab League, came on Saturday to express his solidarity with Morocco. 

Adel Abdel Rahmane al-Asoumi stressed his full support for the measures taken by Morocco to protect its national interests.

Stephanie Williams, enviada especial para la misión de la ONU en Libia
PHOTO/REUTERS- Secretario General del Consejo de Cooperación del Golfo, Al Hajraf
Different versions

On Sunday, Morocco denied information from the Polisario Front that there were deaths during clashes, following the intervention of the Moroccan army Friday in Guerguerat, at the southern tip of Western Sahara, to expel Sahrawi demonstrators.

The Polisario Front reported on Saturday that units of the Saharawi People's Liberation Army "attacked bases, support and supply points of the enemy, and dealt heavy blows to the Moroccan army", which suffered "fatal casualties". According to a statement classified as "part of war number 2", units of the Sahara People's Liberation Army (SPLA) "attacked bases, support and supply points of the enemy, and dealt heavy blows to the Moroccan army", which suffered "fatal casualties".

The Polisario Secretary General, Brahim Ghali, considered Saturday that the ceasefire agreement signed with Morocco in 1991 was broken and declared a state of war throughout the territory.

Since Rabat, they said that the situation in Guerguarat is "calm", after the operation of the Royal Armed Forces which "allowed the expulsion of Polisario militias from the crossing point between Morocco and Mauritania," according to the Moroccan news agency MAP.

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PHOTO/Crossing the border at Guergueret

"Morocco, having noted the great restraint in the face of multiple provocations by Polisario militias in the buffer zone, launched Friday morning an operation to end this unacceptable blockade of civil and commercial traffic between Morocco and Mauritania," MAP said.

Rabat's version is that the armed Polisario militia opened fire on the Moroccan armed forces, "who retaliated by forcing elements of the separatist gang to flee, without causing casualties," according to the state agency.

In September 1991, a cease-fire was signed under the auspices of the UN, after 16 years of war. Since then, the planned referendum has been postponed several times due to a dispute between Rabat and the Polisario over the composition of the electorate and the status of the territory. UN-sponsored negotiations involving Morocco, Polisario, Algeria and Mauritania have been suspended for several months.