Morocco Closes its Embassy in Venezuela

Morocco closed its embassy in Venezuela and moved it to the Dominican
Republic in a dispute with the Venezuelan government over Moroccan
control of Western Sahara.

By Tamara Pearson - Venezuelanalysis.com
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Mérida, January 16, 2009 (venezuelanalysis.com)-- Morocco closed its embassy in Venezuela and moved it to the Dominican Republic in a dispute with the Venezuelan government over Moroccan control of Western Sahara. According to the Morrocan foreign minister, there was "increasing hostility" from Venezuelan authorities against the "territorial integrity of the Moroccans."
 
Spain withdrew from Western Sahara in 1975, allowing Morocco to invade it. The Polisario Front proclaimed the territory's independence in 1976 and founded the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), but hundreds of thousands of refugees from the area as a result of the conflict and invasion fled and now live in Algeria.
 
In a press release, the Moroccan foreign minister also cited "recent measures of support to the pseudo-SADR adopted by the Venezuelan government" as the reason for the withdrawal of its embassy.
 
Apparently, the Venezuelan ambassador in Algeria, Hector Mujica, recently traveled to some Western Sahara refugee camps in the southeast of Algeria to introduce himself to the leader of Polisario who is also the president of SADR.
 
In the meeting Mujica reiterated Venezuela's support for the right to self-determination of the Western Sahari people and the establishment of an independent state.
 
However, the Venezuelan charge-de-affairs in Morocco, Jose Clavijo, said his embassy was unaware of the embassy closure in Caracas and no one in the Moroccan government had been in contact with them.