Algeria: Israel backing Morocco sovereignty over Western Sahara ‘illegal’

Algeria on Thursday denounced Israel’s backing of Morocco’s “claimed sovereignty” over the disputed Western Sahara region as a “flagrant violation” of international law.

The Western Sahara conflict pits Morocco against Sahrawi separatists of the Algiers-backed Polisario Front. The dispute dates back to 1975, when colonial ruler Spain withdrew from the territory, sparking a 15-year war between Morocco and the Polisario which seeks the territory’s independence.

On Monday, the royal cabinet in Rabat said Israel had decided to “recognize Morocco’s sovereignty” over the mineral-rich desert region, citing a letter from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose government later confirmed the information.

The decision “constitutes a flagrant violation of international law, UN Security Council decisions and General Assembly resolutions on the Western Sahara question,” the foreign ministry in Algiers says in a statement.

It “shows agreement between the occupiers’ policies and their complicity in violating international law,” and encroaches upon the “legitimate right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state with Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as its capital and of the Sahrawi people to self-determination.”

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