Official recognition of Morrocco’s claim to Western Sahara is likely linked to Rabat’s normalization of relations with Israel by the United States but is unlikely to affect the current US and EU positions.
The Trump administration is contemplating recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara in what is dubbed as a victory for the North African country. Experts describe the move as a victory for Rabat and are bound to set a spate of recognition from other countries.
Moroccan security forces have been on a warpath with the Polisario Front an armed group fighting for the independence of the Western Sahara territory. This is a vast and disputed territory bordering Algeria, Mauritania, and Morrocco that was previously administered by Spain.
Also read: Tension rises between Morocco and Mauritania
In 1991, the United Nations planned an independence referendum but it never happened, creating an unresolved situation on the region’s independence. In a presidential proclamation, the United States recognized Moroccan control over the entire territory provided they grant limited autonomy to the Sahrawis. The Polisario Front described the developments as a “blatant violation of the United Nations Charter.”
Jewish curriculum in schools
It is no surprise that Morroco decided to officially normalize relations with Israel. The decision by King Mohammed VI was viewed as a landmark move and announced that its schools will begin teaching Jewish history and culture in their national curriculum. This is the first of such a move in a North African country where Islam is the official state religion.
According to some sources, the decision on the curriculum was arrived at discreetly before the two nations formally normalized relations. As part of a curriculum revamp that began in 2014 Rabat aimed to highlight Morrocco’s diverse identity.
The Morrocan King said that negotiation between Israel and Palestine is the only way to creating a peaceful resolution of the situation. Palestinian leaders have denounced the agreement as a betrayal of their cause.