Algeria's ambassador to the United Nations, Sofiane Mimouni, on Thursday put Morocco's UN ambassador in his place about the decolonization process in Western Sahara, by reminding him that the question of Western Sahara was backed by three neighboring countries, namely Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania.
Exercising his right of reply, Mimouni denounced the fact that the ambassador of Morocco, Omar Hilal, certainly short of arguments, has found nothing better than to attack Algeria by making serious accusations against it and by trying to involve it as a protagonist in the conflict (of Western Sahara) and to be at the origin of the problem."
"If this were the case, I would remind the Ambassador that the issue of Western Sahara has been and remains on the agenda of the UN General Assembly since 1963 and has received the support of three neighboring countries, namely Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania," the Algerian diplomat replied.
The three countries, he stressed, "have since strongly supported, on the occasion of each session of the UN General Assembly, the right of Western Sahara people to self-determination and independence".
Mimouni also reminded Omar Hilal that "the Heads of State Summit of Organization of African Unity (OAU), held in Rabat in June 1972, adopted a resolution on the so-called Spanish Sahara in which the African Heads of State, including the King of Morocco, deplore the slowness with which Spain is decolonizing the territory."
"This means that Morocco's support for Western Sahara people's legitimate right to self-determination and independence was crystal clear."
Sofiane Mimouni then recalled that Morocco had already claimed part of the Algerian territory and, in 1963, had engaged in a full military aggression against Algeria, which had just gained independence (1962).
Moreover, Morocco did not recognize Mauritania until 1969, nine years after its independence, following efforts by several countries in the region, including Algeria, to persuade it to accept the principle of the inviolability of the borders inherited from colonization, principles enshrined in the founding texts of the African Union, he recalled.
The misleading statements of the Moroccan ambassador "aim to distort the facts and disguise the reality, that of a decolonization conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front, which remains the legitimate representative of a people fighting for its liberation," the Algerian ambassador said.
"Algeria, like Mauritania, is an observer country of the settlement process in Western Sahara conflict as evidenced by the relevant provisions of the Security Council resolutions and related UN documents."
Mimouni recalled Algeria's constant support to the efforts of the UN Secretary-General's and his personal envoy in the search for a just and lasting solution, providing for the Saharawi people's right to self-determination and independence.