March 15, 2016 / 10:08 PM / in 4 years

Morocco to cut UN Western Sahara mission after Ban remarks - agency

RABAT, March 15 (Reuters) - Morocco plans to reduce staff at the United Nations’ Western Sahara mission and threatened to pull out of U.N. peacekeeping missions worldwide after “unacceptable” comments by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about the disputed region, according to MAP state news agency on Tuesday.

The statement came on Tuesday after Ban met with Morocco’s foreign minister to express his anger over statements by the Moroccan government and a demonstration in Rabat which he said was a personal attack following his Western Sahara remarks.

Rabat accused Ban last week of no longer being neutral in the Western Sahara conflict, saying he used the word “occupation” to describe Morocco’s presence in the region that has been at the center of a dispute since 1975. (Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi, writing by Patrick Markey, editing by G Crosse)

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