Morocco summons ambassador to Saudi Arabia over Western Sahara issue

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-08 23:07:54|Editor: Chengcheng
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RABAT, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Morocco has summoned its ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Moroccan news site reported Friday.

Moroccan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Mustapha Mansouri said he was summoned by the Moroccan Foreign Ministry for consultation.

Mansouri also said he was summoned after the airing of a documentary on Western Sahara by the Saudi channel Al Arabia.

However, the Moroccan envoy stressed that the Moroccan-Saudi relations are "historical and solid," saying "it is normal that divergences occur from time to time."

"I am sure it is no more than a transient crisis, and bilateral relations will return to their normal course," he said.

There has been a silent rift between Morocco and Saudi Arabia since Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud became the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia voted against Morocco's bid to host the 2026 World Cup last June, while Morocco has formally cancelled its participation in several meetings attended by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

In his tour to Maghreb region in November, Mohammed Bin Salman did not visit Morocco, while local media said it was Morocco that cancelled the Saudi crown prince's visit citing "agenda."

Morocco claims Western Sahara as part of its territory while the Sahrawi people there demands self-determination, which is supported by Morocco's eastern neighbor Algeria.