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Morocco-UN: Ban Ki-moon ‘Regrets Misunderstanding’ Caused by Use of ‘Occupation’

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PERSISMA, New York – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, has finally given in to the pressure place on him by the Security Council following the diplomatic row he caused when he described Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara as “occupation.”

After several intense meetings in which the UN chief hoped to get the backing of the Security Council in his personal feud with Morocco, Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson has issued a statement on Monday in which he “regret the misunderstanding” the UN chief has caused when he described Morocco as a country that “occupies” the territory.

“We regret the misunderstandings and consequences that this personal expression of solicitude provoked, especially since the main purpose of the Secretary General’s trip was to focus on the need for a mutually acceptable way forward that would, among other things, end the tribulation of the refugees,” Stephane Dujarric, the UN chief’s personal told the press on Monday.

Dujaricc pointed out that Ban Ki-moon’s use of the word “occupation” was not intentional, adding that he used it only one single time after he was “moved and saddened” by the conditions in which the Saharawis in the Tindouf camps have been living for decades.

“it is useful to understand the circumstances of the Secretary-General’s use of the word ‘occupation.’ He used it one single time in response to a press question, noting that he had been moved and saddened to see the harsh conditions in which men, women and children have been living for decades. His use of this word was not planned or deliberate. It was a spontaneous personal reaction,” he noted.

Diplomatic “Victory” for Morocco

A group of UN experts who have been following the tension between Morocco and Ban Ki-moon told Morocco World News that Ban Ki-moon has been probably pressed by one or more members of the Security Council to present an implicit apology to Morocco.

“Ban Ki-moon has been pressed to do so. He would not have done it on his own without the pressure of the Council,” a UN expert told MWN by phone.

“Pressure probably came from one or more of the powers that expressed support for Morocco in the Security Council,” he added.

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