The closing session of the ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, held in Baku, Azerbaijan, was marked by a bitter exchange of arms between the Ambassador Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN, Omar Hilale, and his Algerian counterpart, Amar Bendjama, in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, Ahmed Attaf, who followed the exchanges in an adjoining room.
The Algerian Permanent Representative has twice used his right of reply to express his astonishment at Morocco’s speech, delivered the day before, on the pretext that he attacked his minister and arguing that the latter did not mention Morocco by name, before pouring into his usual diatribes on the Moroccan Sahara.
In his response, Ambassador Hilale took the witness room to recall that he had never mentioned the name of Algeria in his speech, unlike Minister Attaf who addressed the Moroccan Sahara, which is part integrality of the Kingdom, while congratulating the Algerian ambassador for having recognized himself in the subliminal insinuations of Morocco and for having received his messages well. In this respect, he ironically invoked the adage: “who feels brat, blows his nose”, which perfectly suits the reaction of the Algerian diplomat.
Hilale also castigated Algeria’s intellectual terrorism, which assumes the right to say and do everything, but is offended when Morocco responds to his fabrications, illustrating his remarks with concrete and revealing examples: Minister Attaf can speak of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of Bandung but not Morocco, when it invokes the articles of the principles of Bandung in particular the 1st on the respect of the objectives and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the 2nd on the respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States, the 4th on non-intervention or non-interference in the internal affairs of another country, the 7th relating to abstention from any aggression or the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country and the 8th on the peaceful settlement of disputes.
Algeria can take advantage of the resolutions of the Security Council, but it is irritated when Morocco reminds it of its rejection of these same resolutions. Algeria has full latitude to call for the resumption of the political process only with its proxy, the “polisario”, but it rejects this call when Morocco reminds it of its primary responsibility in this dispute and asks it to obey the Council of Security, which quotes it five times in its latest resolutions.
Algeria can boast of being the zealous advocate of the right to self-determination in the Moroccan Sahara, but becomes amok when Morocco alludes to the claim of this UN principle by the Kabyle populations. Algeria has been trying desperately for half a century to undermine the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Morocco, but it cries out against the external threat as soon as Morocco raises the slightest subject that it considers to be detrimental to its own territorial integrity.
Reacting to the accusation that Morocco is seeking to change the geographical name of the Sahara, Ambassador Hilale deplored the Algerian representative’s ignorance of the history of the Moroccan Sahara. Reminding him that these provinces were Moroccan for centuries until the Spanish invasion in 1884. Their populations swore allegiance to the Sultan of Morocco, as they still do since their return to the Motherland. Specifying to him that allegiance, consecrated in the opinion of the International Court of Justice, is an oath of fidelity, loyalty and obedience of the population towards its sovereign, which goes back several centuries in Europe as in Morocco.
It continues to be expressed as was the case recently during the enthronement of King Charles II of the United Kingdom. In addition, the term “Spanish” arose much later in relation to the Spanish occupier, including when Morocco registered this issue with the UN Decolonization Committee in 1963. The adjective “Western” did not not joined until much later. The diplomat reminded his Algerian counterpart that there is no “Western Sahara” but only the “Moroccan Sahara”, as it was called before its colonization, and he will keep this original geographical name until the end the times. And to warn him that each time he mentions the “Western Sahara”, he must expect an energetic and immediate reaction from Morocco.
Omar Hilale concludes by apostrophizing the Algerian ambassador: “for all Moroccans, the question of the Moroccan Sahara is a cause. For you, it is an agenda of adversity, hostility, destabilization not only of Morocco but of the entire Maghreb”. Also, “it is time for Algeria to face the facts of the fiasco of its Polisario project, which is a political, humanitarian and socio-economic failure with the consequences of its financial cost for its own country, and geopolitics with the held hostage to the construction of the Great Arab Maghreb for three decades”.