Morocco says it is ready to resume diplomatic relations with Germany, owing to a perceived shift in stance toward the disputed Western Sahara.
The statement comes as Morocco marks the one-year anniversary of the United States’ historic decision to acknowledge Moroccan sovereignty over the area in exchange for Morocco establishing diplomatic ties with Israel.
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Morocco invaded Western Sahara from Spain in 1975, and the Polisario Front independence organization fought Morocco for years until a UN-brokered truce in 1991.
Morocco severed diplomatic relations with Germany earlier this year and recalled its ambassador in protest of Germany’s stance on the Sahara issue, particularly in light of the US decision.
Morocco’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that it was ready to reestablish the strained ties.
According to the ministry, the kingdom “appreciates the good declarations and constructive views recently made by Germany’s new federal administration.” “These declarations make it conceivable to envision a rebirth of bilateral cooperation and a return to normality of the two nations’ diplomatic delegations.”
The comment appeared to be referring to text placed on the German Foreign Ministry website last Thursday, five days after Germany’s new administration took office.
The language on the German website refers to Morocco as “a central partner of the European Union and Germany in North Africa,” and it states that Germany’s position on Western Sahara has remained consistent for decades – Germany supports UN efforts to achieve “a fair, durable political solution that is acceptable to all sides.”
In 2007, Morocco made a “essential contribution to such an agreement with an autonomy plan,” according to the report.
Instead, the Algeria-backed Polisario Front and Sahrawis seeking independence demand a UN-sponsored referendum so that Sahrawis may decide the destiny of the area. The referendum has been promised for a long time but has never taken place.
The German Foreign Ministry welcomed Morocco’s declaration and stated that diplomatic delegations in Rabat and Berlin “should resume to their customary, professional lines of contact as soon as feasible.”