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Morocco will co-host the 2030 World Cup – Palestine and Western Sahara will be burning issues

Morocco will co-host the 2030 World Cup – Palestine and Western Sahara will be burning issues

THE 2030 men’s football World Cup will be co-hosted by three countries across two continents after Morocco, Spain and Portugal’s successful bid was selected by Fifa, the sport’s world governing body. For the north African country of Morocco, this represents a milestone after five unsuccessful bids. It becomes just the second African and second Arab country to host the prestigious tournament – after South Africa in 2010 and Qatar in 2022. MAHFOUD AMARA, Associate Professor in Sport Policy & Management, Qatar University But there’s a bigger picture. The news can be celebrated as a symbol of reconciliation among three historically…
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Algeria says Morocco attacked truck convoys in border area

Algeria says Morocco attacked truck convoys in border area

ALGERIA condemned what it called an attack by Morocco against a convoy of trucks in the border area between Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara, saying it will jeopardize United Nations attempts to ease regional tensions. The purported attack took place on Sunday morning in the Ain Bentli region, according to Algerian press reports. "Algeria strongly condemns the targeted assassinations committed by using sophisticated weapons of war ... against civilians," a statement released by Algeria's foreign affairs ministry said. There was no immediate reaction from Mauritania or Morocco. Morocco considers sparsely populated Western Sahara a part of its…
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Western Sahara’s Polisario Front suspends contact with Spain

Western Sahara’s Polisario Front suspends contact with Spain

THE Polisario Front, Western Sahara's independence movement, said it was severing ties with Spain after Madrid backed Morocco's plan to give autonomy to the former Spanish colony. Spain has supported the autonomy plan as a way to resolve a long-running dispute over Western Sahara, which Morocco considers its own territory. But the Polisario, backed by Algeria, has rejected the autonomy proposal and wants an independence referendum. The Polisario said the plan aimed to legitimise the annexation of Western Sahara "ignoring the inalienable rights of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence." Last month, Spain told Morocco it considered the autonomy…
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Eastern Caribbean states open consulate in Western Sahara

Eastern Caribbean states open consulate in Western Sahara

THE Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) on Thursday opened a consulate in Western Sahara, joining African and Arab countries that have established diplomatic missions there in a sign of support for Morocco's claim to the disputed territory. The Dominican Republic's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said he opened the consulate in Dakhla on behalf of Eastern Caribbean member states, a joint statement from the Dominican Republic and Morroco said. The Algeria-backed Polisario front seeks to establish an independent state in the vast and sparsely populated desert region, considered by Morocco as its own land. Gaining international recognition for its rule…
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EU court sides with Western Sahara

EU court sides with Western Sahara

PHILIP BLENKINSOP and AHMED ELJECHTIMI A European Union court has declared that EU-Morocco trade deals covering farm products and fish were invalid because they were agreed without the consent of the people of Western Sahara. The EU and Morocco swiftly issued a joint statement saying they would act to ensure continuity of bilateral trade, and a senior Moroccan diplomatic source told Reuters he expected an appeal against what he called an "incoherent" ruling. Morocco regards Western Sahara as its own territory, but the Algeria-backed Polisario Front movement has sought the region's independence since the end of Spain's colonial rule in…
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Western Sahara independence leader lands in Algiers amid diplomatic row

Western Sahara independence leader lands in Algiers amid diplomatic row

THE leader of the Western Sahara independence movement, Brahim Ghali, landed in Algiers early yesterday after his hospitalization in Spain for more than a month triggered a diplomatic row between Spain and Morocco. Brahim Ghali speaking in 2019. PIcture: Fotos Presidencia El Salvador "He arrived safe and sound," said Jalil Mohamed, the Polisario Front's spokesman in Spain. Ghali flew to Algeria from Pamplona in northern Spain at 1:40 a.m. local time on Wednesday on an officially chartered private plane, the spokesman said. Ghali, who was suffering a serious bout of COVID-19, had been admitted to a Spanish hospital in April…
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No custody for Western Sahara leader

No custody for Western Sahara leader

INTI LANDAURO and GUILLERMO MARTINEZ SPAIN’S High Court has turned down a request for Western Sahara independence leader Brahim Ghali to be taken into custody, saying the plaintiffs in a war crimes case against him had failed to provide evidence he had committed any crime. Ghali's presence in Spain has infuriated Morocco, which says Western Sahara is part of its own territory and last month appeared to relax border controls with a Spanish enclave, resulting in a sudden influx of migrants. The Polisario Front leader, who has been hospitalized in the Spanish city of Logrono for more than a month,…
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Morocco, Spain trade accusations of violating good ‘neighbourliness’

Morocco, Spain trade accusations of violating good ‘neighbourliness’

MOROCCO and Spain traded new accusations yesterday in a diplomatic row triggered by the Western Sahara territorial issue that led this month to a migration crisis in Spain's enclave in northern Morocco. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez described Morocco's actions in appearing to relax border controls with the enclave of Ceuta as unacceptable and an assault on national borders. Morocco's Foreign Ministry meanwhile blamed Spain for breaking "mutual trust and respect", drawing parallels between the issues of Western Sahara and Spain's Catalonia region, where there is an independence movement. The dispute was sparked by Spain admitting Western Sahara independence movement…
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Morocco escalates row with Spain over Western Sahara

Morocco escalates row with Spain over Western Sahara

MOROCCO’S ambassador to Madrid has press comments by the Spanish foreign minister undermined Moroccan territorial integrity and Rabat "would act accordingly", escalating a row that contributed to a migrant crisis in Spain's North African enclave. Brahim Ghali, head of the Polisario Front, whose hospitalisation in Spain has sparked tensions between Madrid and Rabat Morocco withdrew ambassador Karima Benyaich from Madrid last week for consultations over Spain's decision to host Brahim Ghali, head of the Western Sahara Polisario independence group, for medical treatment without informing Rabat. It also appeared to relax border controls with the Spanish enclave of Ceuta leading thousands…
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Spain-Morocco relations strained

Spain-Morocco relations strained

JON NAZCA and MARIANO VALLADOLID A sudden influx of migrants swimming into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in northern Africa is a serious crisis for Europe, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said yesterday, vowing to re-establish order promptly amid heightened diplomatic tensions with Morocco. Spain deployed troops to Ceuta to patrol the border with Morocco after around 8,000 migrants, many from Sub-Saharan Africa and including some 1,500 minors, entered the enclave on Monday and Tuesday by swimming in or climbing over the fence. Armoured vehicles were guarding Ceuta's beach on Tuesday, and soldiers and police used batons to clear migrants from…
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