Morocco freezes involvement in Saudi-led coalition in Yemen


Al Qaeda no longer held any territory in Yemen as a result of these and other operations with United States support, Col Al Malki said, and the coalition would continue to counter AQAP and work with global partners to do so.

Ambassador Mustapha Mansouri confirmed on Friday the recall to Morocco's Le360, the pro-establishment news website said.

Morocco's decision to recall its ambassador comes after Saudi television channel Al Arabiya broadcast a documentary on the Western Sahara conflict hostile to Morocco's territorial integrity.

After Bourita's interview, Saudi television channel Al-Arabiya aired a documentary on the disputed Western Sahara, supporting claims that Morocco invaded it after Spanish colonizers left in 1975.

The ambassador added that Morocco and Saudi Arabia are bound by strong and longstanding ties that are now undergoing a "transient crisis", Le360 reported.

Up to now, neither the Moroccan nor the Saudi foreign ministries have commented on the diplomatic tensions.

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"Morocco no longer takes part in military interventions or ministerial meetings in the Saudi-led coalition", wrote AP, quoting a Moroccan official who requested anonymity.

Meanwhile, the Coalition has viewed with concern media reports alleging the transfer of USA military weapons to the Iranian backed Houthi militias and AQAP in Yemen.

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said in an interview last month with Qatar-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera that "on the basis of developments" in Yemen, "there was a change in the form and the content" of Morocco's participation. "Especially given the strength of the historic ties between our two countries".

Yemen's four-year war and ensuing economic collapse have unleashed the world's most urgent humanitarian crisis with 14 million of its 29 million population staring at starvation.

When Bourita was asked why King Mohammed VI did not host Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman on a recent tour of other Arab countries, Bourita said: "Official visits are prepared in advance, according to protocol".

Morocco did not voice support for Saudi Arabia in the wake of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October and the Saudi crown prince was not received in Morocco previous year while on a North African tour.