Algeria deems US recognition of Morocco’s claim over Western Sahara illegal
Algeria has rejected a decision by outgoing United States President Donald Trump to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the much-disputed territory of Western Sahara, stating that the move lacks legal effect and is an attempt to undermine regional de-escalation efforts.
On Thursday, Donald Trump tweeted that Morocco had decided to normalize relations with Israel after Washington agreed to recognize Rabat’s sovereignty over the territory of Western Sahara.
Morocco became the fourth Arab country this year, after the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, to declare that it had agreed to begin formal diplomatic ties with the Tel Aviv regime.
In a statement released on Saturday, the Algerian Foreign Ministry announced that Trump’s decision “has no legal effect because it contradicts UN resolutions, especially UN Security Council resolutions on Western Sahara.”
“The proclamation would undermine the de-escalation efforts made at all levels in order to pave the way for launching a real political process,” it said.
The ministry also emphasized that the Western Sahara conflict “is a case of decolonization which can be solved only through the implementation of international conventions and the prevailing doctrine of both the United Nations and the African Union relating to this issue.”
Morocco occupied Western Sahara - a former Spanish colony – back in 1975, and has since been in conflict with the Algeria-supported Polisario Front.
The movement has thus far been fighting very hard for the independence of the Sahrawi people in Western Sahara and a referendum on their self-determination.
The Polisario Front decried "in the strongest terms the fact that outgoing American President Donald Trump attributes to Morocco something which does not belong" to the country, namely sovereignty over Western Sahara.
It further promised to continue to fight on until Moroccan forces withdrew from all of Western Sahara.
Also on Saturday, Algeria’s Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad strongly criticized "foreign maneuvers" seeking to "destabilize” his country.
"There is now a desire by the Zionist entity to come closer to our borders," he remarked.
The comments came after the United States adopted a new map of Morocco that included Western Sahara.
"This map is a tangible representation of President Trump's bold proclamation two days ago - recognizing Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara," US Ambassador to Rabat David Fischer stated during a ceremony at the American diplomatic mission.
He subsequently signed the "new official US government map of the kingdom of Morocco" and noted that it would be presented to Morocco's King Mohammed VI.