Morocco accuses Germany of 'hostile acts’

Morocco accuses Germany of 'hostile acts’
2 min read
Morocco has expressed its anger with Germany over its position on the status of Western Sahara.
Morocco has been anger by German comments on the Western Sahara [Getty]

Morocco on Thursday said it was recalling its ambassador to Berlin for consultations, accusing Germany of "hostile acts" two months after tensions over the disputed Western Sahara.

"The Federal Republic of Germany has stepped up hostile acts and actions that undermine the supreme interests of the kingdom," the Moroccan foreign ministry said in a statement.

It specifically accused Berlin of "antagonism", following German criticism of the recognition by former US president Donald Trump of Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara.

Morocco insists its claim to sovereignty over the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara is non-negotiable, despite the rival claims of the pro-independence Polisario Front, with which it fought a 1975-91 war.

On 2 March, Rabat said it was suspending contacts with the German embassy in the North African kingdom over "deep misunderstandings" on "issues fundamental for Morocco".

Germany then said it had summoned the Moroccan ambassador for clarification.

Last year, Morocco joined the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan in agreeing to normalise ties with Israel under US-brokered deals.

In return, Trump recognised Rabat's sovereignty over Western Sahara, a region rich in phosphates which lies near key Atlantic fishing zones.

On Thursday, the Moroccan foreign ministry did not specify what were the "hostile acts" allegedly carried out.

But it also accused German authorities of "complicity" with a "former convict".

The foreign ministry's statement did not name the individual, but it is widely believed to be Mohamed Hajib, a German-Moroccan who was sentenced in Morocco to 10 years in prison for "terrorism" in 2010.

Read more: Why 2021 could be an even worse year for the Middle East

He was released after having served half his sentence, and upon his return to Germany he has been a vocal critic of Morocco on social media.

Morocco has had generally good relations with Germany, which provides it with a substantial amount of financial aid, and Germany is one of Morocco's main trade partners.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected