BREAKING NEWS
This content is not available in your region

Morocco recalls ambassador in Germany amid Western Sahara row

Access to the comments Comments
By AP
Female soldiers of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SARD) attend celebrations marking the 45th anniversary of the creation of the SARD Saturday, Feb.27 2021
Female soldiers of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SARD) attend celebrations marking the 45th anniversary of the creation of the SARD Saturday, Feb.27 2021   -   Copyright  Fateh Guidoum/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Text size Aa Aa

Morocco’s ambassador to Germany has been recalled to Rabat for “consultations," the Moroccan Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

The North African kingdom’s move comes amid rising tensions with Germany, notably related to disputed Western Sahara. The ministry also cited concerns about the two countries' cooperation against terrorism and in settling Libya's conflict.

In March, Morocco suspended ties with the German Embassy due to “deep misunderstandings” following then-U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial decision in December to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the territory.

The German Foreign Ministry said it was not informed in advance about the ambassador's recall, adding that it was mystified by the allegations cited in the Moroccan Foreign Ministry's statement.

“We are all the more surprised by this measure as we are working with the Moroccan side in a constructive way to resolve the crisis,” the ministry said, adding that it has asked Morocco for an explanation.

'Antagonistic activism'

On Thursday, the Moroccan Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “Germany has distanced itself from the spirit of constructive solution with a destructive attitude on the issue of the Moroccan Sahara." It accused Germany of “antagonistic activism” following Trump's decision.

The ministry also accused German authorities of acting “with complicity towards an individual formerly convicted of acts of terror, by disclosing sensitive information communicated by the Moroccan security services to their German counterparts.”

It did not name the individual, or elaborate on the accusations.

And the ministry said Germany exhibited a “continued determination to counter Morocco’s regional influence, particularly on the Libyan issue," after Morocco was not included in important Libya peace talks in Berlin in January.

After Morocco froze relations with the German Embassy in March, Germany’s government said it saw no reason for the deterioration of its good diplomatic relations with Morocco.

The Algeria-backed Polisario Front fought for independence for Western Sahara after Morocco annexed the former Spanish colony in 1975. U.N. peacekeepers now monitor a 30-year-old ceasefire between Moroccan forces and Polisario supporters.