Moroccan Foreign Ministry rejects Istiqlal Party leader’s claims on Mauritania

Hamid Chabat in trouble

LONDON – The Moroccan Foreign Affairs Ministry has flatly rejected the statements made by the Istiqlal Party’s Secretary General Hamid Chabat concerning Mauritania’s territorial integrity, according to a statement issued by the Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
A communiqué released Monday by the Foreign Affairs Ministry said that “it flatly rejects these statements which undermine relations with a brotherly neighbouring country and show a real ignorance of the Moroccan diplomacy’s orientations, laid by the King, and which advocate good neighbourliness, solidarity and cooperation with the sister nation of Mauritania.”
Chabat sparked controversy this week when he called Mauritania “a Moroccan territory”, saying that “Morocco’s borders extend from Ceuta in the north to the Senegal river in the south.”
The Foreign Affairs Ministry officially declared “its full respect for the known and recognized borders, under the international law, of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and its territorial integrity,” said the communiqué.
“Morocco is confident that the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, its president, government and people, will give no importance to this kind of statements which are prejudicial only to the person making them,” it added.
The Ministry criticised Chabat’s statement that “manifestly lack restraint and maturity, embraces the same logic adopted by the enemies of Morocco’s territorial integrity who are fighting its legitimate return to its Institutional African family.”