Senior U.S. official in Tunisia to meet with president and government officials: State Department

Washington [US], Aug 31 (ANI/Sputnik): US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf traveled to Tunisia earlier on Tuesday to meet with Tunisian President Kais Saied, the deputy spokesperson said. of the State Department Vedant Patel during a conference call. “I can confirm that Assistant Secretary Leaf is traveling to the region and is in Tunisia today, where she met with the president and other Tunisian officials,” Vedant said.

Vedant said he had no further information on his trip, but expects to have more updates later today and during the week. Leaf is visiting following a diplomatic row between Morocco and Tunisia.

On Friday, the Moroccan Foreign Ministry announced that Morocco had recalled its ambassador to Tunisia for consultations after Tunisian President Kais Saied met rebel Polisario Front leader Brahim Ghali on the sidelines of the Eighth Tokyo International Conference. on African Development, also known as TICAD 8, in Tunisia. Western Sahara, a former colony of Spain, was transferred to the control of Morocco and Mauritania in 1975. A year later, the Polisario Front, a local nationalist movement, proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in the territory of Western Sahara.

Since then, the Polisario Front has been fighting with Moroccan forces for control of the region. Currently, Morocco controls about 80% of Western Sahara, with 20% under the control of the Polisario Front. A UN-brokered ceasefire agreement was reached in 1991, and the UN Security Council voted to hold a referendum to define the territory’s status. However, Moroccan authorities have since opposed any vote including independence as an option, supporting the idea of ​​limited autonomy only. (ANI/Sputnik)

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