Zambia reaffirms to cut ties with Sahrawi Republic
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Malanji has reaffirmed that his country has severed all ties with the Sahrawi Republic, and has announced that President Edgar Lungu will soon visit Morocco for an official visit.
Ambassador Malanji, who joined Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita at a press conference in Rabat, said that “Lusaka no longer maintains bilateral relations with SADR.”
Lauding the bilateral ties between Morocco and Zambia, Ambassador Malanji said that Zambian diplomatic missions “will inform countries and the international and regional organizations of this decisive break” with the Sahrawi Republic.
He said talks were focused “on the very good relations between Morocco and Zambia, which are expected to be reinforced in several areas, especially on political and economic levels.”
Ambassador Malanji also lauded King Mohammed VI “historic visit” to Zambia in February 2017.
After Morocco’s official return to the African Union on January 31, 2017, King Mohammed VI began an African tour on February 1, 2017.
The King’s tour started from the Republic of South Sudan and then continued into Ghana, Zambia, Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire.
During his visit to Zambia, King Mohammed VI co-chaired the signing ceremony of 19 partnership agreements with the Zambian leader Edgar Chagwa.
After the King’s visit, Zambia’s Former Minister Harry Kalaba announced his country’s decision to withdraw its recognition of the SADR.
The announcement was made less than a month after Morocco’s return to the African Union and few days following King Mohammed VI’s first official visit to Zambia.
And Mr. Bourita said their meeting was an opportunity to discuss means to ensure the smooth implementation of an agreement signed last year.
Mr. Bourita lauded the growing momentum in bilateral ties since the Moroccan king’s visit, saying the signed agreements lay the ground for solid cooperation.
The Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister said the two sides also discussed a number of regional issues of common interest.
The Sahrawi Republic officially known as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) is a partially recognised state that controls a thin strip of area in the Western Sahara region region and claims sovereignty over the entire territory of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony and later province.
The SADR government controls about 20–25% of the territory it claims.
The SADR government considers the Moroccan-held territory to be occupied territory, while Morocco considers the much smaller SADR-held territory to be a buffer zone.
The Sahrawi Republic maintains diplomatic relations with 40 UN states, and is a full member of the African Union.