Morocco summons ambassador to Saudi Arabia over Western Sahara issue

Saudi Pro Government Outlet Attempts to Defuse Tension with Morocco

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said in an interview last month with Qatar-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera that "on the basis of developments" in Yemen, "there was a change in the form and the content" of Morocco's participation.

Referring to a diplomatic crisis between the two countries, the American press agency reported that the North African Kingdom "recalled" its ambassador to Riyadh for "consultation".

The Coalition, under the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, confirms its support and dedication to relief efforts to the brotherly Yemeni people, and reiterates its support for the Stockholm Agreement and the United Nations sponsored peace process, led by Martin Griffiths, in accordance with UNSC resolutions, the GCC Initiative, and outcomes of the Yemeni national dialogue.

Rabat had already scaled down its participation in coalition activities in May of 2015 after a Moroccan F-16 was reportedly shot down by the Houthis.

When Bourita was asked why King Mohammed VI did not host Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman on a recent tour of other Arab countries, Bourita said: "Official visits are prepared in advance, according to protocol". Morocco's withdrawal from the war in Yemen was no longer a matter of if but when, especially after the intensification of the Saudi-led offensive and seemingly indiscriminate killing of innocent Yemenis.

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Another Moroccan government official said the ambassador was recalled after a Saudi television report about the disputed Western Sahara.

The Saudi-led Arab Coalition supporting Yemen's government has rejected reports that it was allowing weapons provided by the Unites States to reach the Houthi rebels and extremist groups in the country such as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Pensinsula.

The ambassador explained to the daily "le360" the reason for his return to Rabat, adding that "relations between Morocco and Saudi Arabia are stable and historic but divergences are normal from time to time". The narrative was one-sided in Polisario's favor as the channel did not even include Morocco's position nor its autonomy initiative to settle the artificial dispute nor did it mention the hegemonic ambitions of Algeria in perpetuating the regional dispute.

Food prices have increased by an average of 68 percent, and the price of commodities such as petrol, diesel and cooking gas have increased by at least 25 percent in the past year.

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