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The New Arab Staff

Jordan to open consulate in Western Sahara following UAE move

The Western Sahara region has been the centre of a guerrilla campaign by separatists [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 November, 2020

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Jordan will follow the UAE and open a consulate in the Western Sahara region of Morocco.
Jordan will open a consulate in Western Sahara, Rabat announced on Thursday, following a similar move by the UAE in the region.

King Abdullah agreed to open a diplomatic mission in Western Sahara's largest city, Laayoune, following a call with Morocco's King Mohammed, in what is viewed as a message of support for Rabat.

"[King Abdullah] welcomed the reopening of the passage to the safe movement of people and goods between the Kingdom of Morocco and Sub-Saharan Africa," the royal palace said in a statement on Thursday, according to Reuters.

The announcement follows rising tensions between Rabat and the Western Sahara seperatist movement, the Polisario Front, which recently announced it was ending a three-decade ceasefire with the Moroccan government.

The Polisario Front claims this is in response to the entry of Moroccan forces into a Western Sahara buffer zone and the construction of a sand berm, which has been targeted by the Algerian-backed group.

The UAE and 16 African states have opened consulates in the Western Sahara region, bolstering Morocco's claims to the land.

Rabat insists the Western Sahara region is an integral part of the kingdom, while the Polisario Front consider the territory as illegally occupied and have exchanged gunfire with Moroccan troops present in the area.

It and Algeria insist on a referendum with an independent Sahrawi state as one of the options, while Morocco is only willing to grant Western Sahara only autonomy.

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