Algeria rejects Trump’s declaration on Western Sahara

A rocket is pictured near an earth wall that separates areas controlled by Morocco and the Polisario Front in Western Sahara

On Saturday, Algeria rejected a declaration by U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize the Moroccan government over Western Sahara, saying the step would weaken efforts to end the decades-long conflict over the desert territory.

Trump’s administration said it recognized Moroccan claims to Western Sahara as part of a deal under which Morocco agreed to normalize its relations with Israel.

In Algiers, the Foreign Ministry said the U.S. decision “has no legal effect because it contradicts U.N. resolutions, particularly U.N. Security Council resolutions on Western Sahara”.

“The proclamation would undermine the de-escalation efforts made at all levels to pave the way for launching a real political process,” the ministry said in a statement.

The U.S.-Morocco deal comes at a critical moment in the long-frozen conflict in Western Sahara between Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front liberation movement, which erupted again last month after three decades of truce.

The United Nations and other Western states are not expected to change their long-standing position calling for a vote to resolve the dispute. The United Nations said its stance was unchanged.

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