New York –The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday gave strong backing to his Western Sahara envoy Christopher Ross after the Moroccan government said it had « no confidence » in the diplomat.
« The secretary general has complete confidence in Christopher Ross, » said the UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky in reaction to the Moroccan government statement which accused the envoy of being « biased and unbalanced ».
Morocco’s attack on Ross follows months of growing tensions between the Rabat government and the United Nations over Western Sahara, the territory it started to annex in 1975 as Spanish colonists withdrew.
A UN report on Western Sahara released last month said that Morocco’s tactics had « undermined » UN attempts to report on events in the territory. UN-brokered talks between Morocco and Polisario Front rebels are deadlocked.
Morocco’s Foreign Minister Saad Dine Otmani met UN leader Ban last week and said after that he raised « worries » about the report.