The Secretary-General met today with H.E. Mr. Salaheddine Mezouar, the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Morocco, to exchange views on the state of efforts to settle the Western Sahara dispute, as well as his recent visit to the region to explore ways to intensify the negotiating process.
The Secretary-General took note of the misunderstanding related to his use of the word “occupation” as his personal reaction to the deplorable humanitarian conditions in which the Sahrawi refugees have lived in for far too long.
The Secretary-General also conveyed his astonishment at the recent statement of the Government of Morocco and expressed his deep disappointment and anger regarding the demonstration that was mobilized on Sunday, which targeted him in person. He stressed that such attacks are disrespectful to him and to the United Nations.
He also requested a clarification regarding the reported presence of several members of the Moroccan Government among the demonstrators. The Secretary-General asked the Foreign Minister to ensure that the United Nations enjoys respect in Morocco.