Morocco signals return to normal diplomatic ties with Germany following row over Western Sahara

Morocco signals return to normal diplomatic ties with Germany following row over Western Sahara
2 min read
22 December, 2021
Morocco said Wednesday that it expected to restore diplomatic relations with Germany after Berlin voiced support for Rabat's autonomy plan for the Western Sahara territory.
The diplomatic situation improved after the German foreign ministry issued a statement describing Morocco’s autonomy plan as an 'important contribution' to finding a political solution [source: Getty]

Morocco said on Wednesday it expected a return to normal cooperation and diplomatic ties with Germany after Berlin expressed support for Rabat's autonomy plan for the disputed Western Sahara territory.

Morocco had recalled its ambassador to Germany in May in protest over what it described as Berlin's "antagonistic activism" after the United States in December 2020 recognised Moroccan sovereignty over the territory, which is also claimed by the Algeria-backed Polisario Front movement.

In March, Morocco ordered all governmental departments and bodies to abstain from any cooperation and contacts with the German embassy and German political organisations.

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But last week, the diplomatic situation improved after the German foreign ministry issued a statement describing Morocco’s autonomy plan as an "important contribution" to finding a political solution to the Western Sahara conflict, in line with United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The Moroccan foreign ministry said in a statement that it welcomed the "positive statements...which bode well for a resumption of bilateral cooperation and a return to normalcy in the work of diplomatic representations of the two countries in Berlin and Rabat".

Morocco has been assertive in pushing European countries and the European Union to follow the United States on its Western Sahara stance. King Mohammed last month said Morocco would not agree "any economic or commercial step that excludes the Moroccan Sahara".