Moroccan Mauritania claims strain ties with Nouakchott

Party official’s assertion that Mauritania is ‘Moroccan territory’ draws rebuke from country's ruling party

Moroccan Mauritania claims strain ties with Nouakchott

World Bulletin / News Desk

Statements by a Moroccan party official in which he said Mauritania was "Moroccan territory" has strained relations between the North African neighbors.

On Saturday, Hamid Chabat, secretary-general of Morocco’s opposition Istiqlal Party, publicly stated that Mauritania had originally been part of Morocco.

"These lands will remain Moroccan; all historians affirm this," Chabat reportedly said at a trade union meeting.

The remark quickly drew a rebuke from Mauritania’s ruling Union for the Republic Party (UPR), which called on Chabat to apologize for the statement.

According to the UPR, Chabat’s remarks constituted an attempt to "deflect attention away from [Morocco’s] domestic and party-related crises and failures".

"Insulting Mauritania’s sovereignty and independence is not the best way to tackle thorny issues and won’t help resolve the longstanding dispute over Western Sahara," the party stated.

Morocco’s Istiqlal Party, for its part, said Monday that the UPR’s comments "threaten to strain bilateral relations".

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Aralık 2016, 17:14