Ban lashes out at Morocco over ‘disrespectful’ protest

United Nations / AFP

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon angrily told Morocco’s foreign minister that protests organized in Rabat against his remarks on Western Sahara were disrespectful.
Ban “expressed his deep disappointment and anger regarding the demonstration that was mobilized on Sunday, which targeted him in person,” said a UN statement released after his meeting with Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar in New York.
The secretary-general “stressed that such attacks are disrespectful to him and to the United Nations” and asked the minister to “ensure that the United Nations enjoys respect in Morocco.”
Hundreds of thousands of people carrying banners denouncing Ban’s “lack of neutrality” on the Western Sahara issue took to the streets of Rabat on Sunday.
The demonstrations followed Ban’s visit to a refugee camp in Algeria housing refugees from Western Sahara and his use of the term “occupation” to describe the status of the territory.
Morocco considers the territory as part of the kingdom and insists its sovereignty cannot be challenged.

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