Zambia still recognizes Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic: foreign ministry

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Zambia has not withdrawn its recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), its Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.

Last week, King Mohammed VI of Morocco was in Zambia for an official visit and held talks with President Edgar Lungu.

Some local media has reported that one of the issues tackled was for Zambia to cut its diplomatic ties with the SADR, which Morocco considers as part of its territory.

But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Zambia supports the efforts of the United Nations (UN) to achieve a final solution to the regional dispute on Western Sahara.

Zambia is willing to effectively contribute constructively to the efforts by the UN through a position of neutrality by engaging the relevant parties and maintaining active dialogue, it added.

Zambia, according to the statement, views the return of Morocco to the African Union (AU) as an opportunity for the continental body to bring the long-standing matter to an amiable resolution in the African spirit of consensus dialogue and mutual respect.

At an AU summit in January, the bloc allowed Morocco back in the fold after a 33-year absence. Thirty-nine of the 54 states approved the return of Morocco while South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana and Algeria, opposed the decision. Those countries have been active supporters of the rights of the Sahrawi people and their right to an independent country.

The SADR controls a small strip of land in the Western Sahara region and claims sovereignty over the entire territory of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony. The majority of Western Sahara is under Moroccan control. Endit

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