High-Ranking US Diplomat Visits Western Sahara, Morocco
The highest-ranking US diplomat for North Africa and the Middle East visited Western Sahara. The visit on Saturday by David Schenker, assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, comes after the Trump Administration last month recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over the contested area in exchange for Morocco establishing diplomatic relations with Israel.
Schenker on Sunday met with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, to discuss expanding the US-Morocco relationship, Arab News reported. Schenker was scheduled to open a temporary diplomatic mission there. A permanent consulate is expected to open within the next year.
Morocco annexed Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, in 1975. For the last 30 years the Polisario Front, based in and backed by Algeria, has been seeking Western Sahara’s independence.