Rabat, Morocco (TMT)- According to Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, Morocco intentionally blocked Ban Ki-moon’s visit to the Sahara, in light of his recent regional visit to the region, by denying a landing clearance for his plane.
Ban wanted to visit the Sahara despite King Mohammed VI’s non-availability during the period as the Moroccan monarch was on an official trip to Russia.
Morocco’s head of the government, Benkirane has previously blamed Ban for intentionally refusing to visit Morocco when this latter “unilateral postponed two times in a row the agreed-upon dates for his visit to the region.”
“They said [UN secretary general office] that due to urgent matters, Ban Ki-moon can’t make it anymore to Morocco on the previously agreed days. With good intentions, we accepted the first postponing [November] and then agreed together to move the regional visit to a second date [January].
“And then again the same story. They came, after agreeing on January for the regional visit, and said they are postponing the visit for another date. Again we accepted the decision with good intentions.”
“Then they suggested that he [Ban] visits Morocco in March, but King Mohammed VI’s agenda was full during that period. And instead of finding a suitable timing for both parties, for the regional visit, they decided to carry out a visit to Mauritania and Algeria in March, proposing to only visit Morocco in April,” Benkirane added.
“We did not accept this date as it is not reasonable to postpone the visit to a period post the yearly resolution on the Sahara in the Security Council,” Benkirane said.
The Moroccan Times.