Western Sahara: Russia Voices Appreciable Support to Morocco

m6-medvedevKing Mohammed VI, who is currently on an official visit to Moscow, on Tuesday received assurances from Russian President Vladimir Putin as to Russia’s support to Morocco in the Sahara issue, on the backdrop of turmoil between Morocco and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

“Russia takes due account of Morocco’s position concerning the settlement of this problem,” states a joint statement issued in Moscow on Tuesday, after a meeting of the two countries’ heads of state in the Kremlin.

Russia and Morocco do not tolerate any attempt to accelerate or precipitate the political process, the two sides said in the joint statement, referring to the resolutions of the Security Council.

During a press conference held the same day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the UN should “continue to play a constructive role despite recent misunderstandings” with Moroccan authorities.

“It’s an old problem, a thorny problem. (…) But we see no other solution than seeking a compromise,” he insisted.

Ban Ki-moon’s statements to the media during his recent visit to Algeria irked Rabat which deemed such remarks biased and favorable to the opposing party, and created tension in relations between the UN and Morocco.

In response to Ban’s blunders, the Moroccan government has decided a “significant reduction” of its participation in the civilian component of the “MINURSO” and is even considering withdrawing its troops from UN peacekeeping missions.

As part of his visit to the Russian Federation that was marked Tuesday by the signing of several cooperation agreements in various fields, King Mohammed VI had on Wednesday in Moscow talks with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. This meeting was attended by several members of the Governments of both countries.

The support voiced by Russia, one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, is highly appreciated by Morocco, especially in these times of tension between Rabat and the UN, and because it came a month before the Security Council debates the Western Sahara issue

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