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Govt says it hasn’t withdrawn recognition of Western Sahara

THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the visit of the King of Morocco has not resulted in Zambia withdrawing its recognition of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, contrary to Moroccan media reports.

The Moroccan World News had claimed in a report posted on Saturday evening that foreign affairs minister Harry Kalaba had revealed in an interview with them that Zambia had again withdrawn its recognition of Western Sahara.

 

But foreign affairs public relations officer Dorcas Chileshe refuted the report.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to confirm that, contrary to recent media reports, the visit of the King of Morocco has not resulted in Zambia’s withdrawal of recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic,” Chileshe stated. “The ministry would like to emphasise that Zambia supports the efforts of the United Nations to achieve a final solution to the regional dispute on Western Sahara. In this regard, and as is our renowned tradition, Zambia is willing to effectively contribute, constructively, to these efforts, through a position of neutrality by engaging the relevant parties and maintaining active dialogue.”

She stated that Zambia viewed the return of Morocco to the African Union as an opportunity for the continental family to bring the longstanding matter to an amicable resolution in the African spirit of consensus, dialogue and mutual respect.

“The ministry would like to assure the general public that the Communiqué released on Saturday 25th February 2017 remains the summary of the outcome of the royal visit of His Majesty the King of Morocco,” read Chileshe’s statement.

The Moroccan media reported that Zambia had reiterated its decision to withdraw its recognition of the “self-proclaimed Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, an entity established by the Algeria-backed Polisario Front in February 1976”. SM

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