Rabat, Morocco (TMT)- Following the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, expressing “his deep disappointment and anger” regarding the “March for the Sahara” demonstration that took place last Sunday in Rabat, including requesting “a clarification regarding the reported presence of several members of the Moroccan Government among the demonstrators,” the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Salaheddine Mezouar, upon instructions from King Mohammed VI, flew to New York to meet the UN secretary general.
The meeting started in a hot-tempered manner as Ban Ki-Moon, blatantly disregarding the norms and diplomatic practices of the United Nations, greeted the Moroccan Minister in a very unprofessional manner, to say the very least, as the featured video illustrates.
The Moroccan FM, though his facial expressions clearly illustrate his anger at Ban Ki-moon’s unprofessional gesture, kept his temper calm and handed over a letter to the Secretary General “specifying the official protests of the Moroccan Government related to his unacceptable statements and unacceptable behavior, during his recent visit to the region,” where among others Ban Ki-moon, unprecedentedly, used the word “occupation” to describe the presence of Morocco in its Sahara.
“During the meeting, Mr. Mezouar informed the Secretary General of the firm denunciation and total rejection by the Kingdom of Morocco, its people and all its active forces, of his unacceptable statements and condemnable actions on the Moroccan Sahara issue, during his recent visit to Algeria,” a communiqué from the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation read.
“The Moroccan authorities consider that such actions are incompatible with the obligations and mission of a Secretary General, which require of him a duty of objectivity and impartiality and the respect of the references established by the UN bodies,” the communiqué further read.
“It was particularly reminded to Mr. Ban Ki Moon that the word “occupation” used to describe the presence of Morocco in its Sahara is a legal absurdity and a serious political error. Indeed, no Security Council resolution has used such a terminology. The use of this reference is therefore an insult to the Moroccan people and to a nation which has made huge sacrifices to gradually regain its independence and defend its territorial integrity,” the communiqué went on to say.
“Similarly, the resort to the mentioned referendum to solve this regional dispute was swept away by history and discarded by the Security Council. Since 2004, the Council has called exclusively for finding a negotiated political solution, based on “realism and the spirit of compromise.”
“The unacceptable attempts to distort the status of the zone, at the East of the defense system as well as the selective treatment and the complacent attitude towards the humanitarian situation in Tindouf camps, were also raised.
“During the meeting, Mr. Mezouar reiterated the urgency for the Secretary General not to indulge in the unveiled attempts, against the Moroccan autonomy initiative which retains its preeminence in the Security Council resolutions. He was asked to publicly clarify his position to restore an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.
“However and instead of respecting the commitments expressed during the meeting, the statement issued by the Secretariat General adds to the initial offense, a new outrage to the
“Moroccan people who had but expressed spontaneously their rejection of the so many deviations and irresponsibility.
“The Kingdom of Morocco feels indignant at the Secretary General’s protest against the legitimate and democratic right of a people and its active forces, to freely express their opinions and reactions
“How could the practice of an individual and collective right, enshrined in the Moroccan constitution, be an offense to the person of the Secretary General, especially when it is a reaction to statements and actions that deeply affect each Moroccan citizen from the North to the South?
“How could it be possible, at this level of responsibility, to reduce the United Nations into the secretary general’s personal affect?
“Consequently and given this dangerous drift, the Kingdom of Morocco has decided the following immediate measures:
➢ A significant reduction, in the coming days, of a large part of the civilian component and particularly the political segment of MINURSO;
➢ The cancellation of the voluntary contribution granted by Morocco to the functioning of MINURSO;
➢The Examination of withdrawal procedures of the Moroccan troops involved in Peacekeeping Operations.
“The Kingdom of Morocco reserves the legitimate right to resort to other measures that might be required to defend, in strict respect of UN Charter, its high interests, its sovereignty and its territorial integrity,” the communiqué closed.
The Moroccan Times.