Senegal recalls ambassador from Morocco over W. Sahara spat: report

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 jacques baudin

DAKAR (AFP) — Senegal recalled its ambassador from Morocco “for consultations” Saturday in a dispute over the disputed Western Sahara, media reports said.

Morocco pulled its ambassador out of Dakar this week in protest at comments about Western Sahara by a Senegalese opposition member.

“The recall of Morocco’s ambassador to Senegal was an unfriendly gesture to the Senegalese people,” said a statement by the Senegalese prime minister’s office, cited by local media.

“Senegal, while waiting for clarification, recalled its ambassador from Morocco for consultations,” the statement said.

Morocco on Wednesday recalled its ambassador for three days after a senior Senegalese opposition party member appeared to back separatists fighting Moroccan rule in Western Sahara.

Former Senegalese minister Jacques Baudin lauded Polisario Front rebels who are fighting Moroccan forces in the disputed northwest African region.

According to Rabat, the comments were “contrary to the secular bonds which exist between the two countries”.

Sources close to the government expressed surprised at Rabat’s actions since Baudin’s party is not part of the government.

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