There has been bipartisan and international pushback against President Donald Trump's recognition of Morocco's sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara as part of the North African nation resuming relations with Israel, The Hill reported on Sunday.
While many supported the move toward nations normalizing ties with Israel, critics said these deals include a disregard for human rights.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe, an ally of the president, called Trump’s decision “shocking and deeply disappointing,” adding that “I am saddened that the rights of the Western Saharan people have been traded away.”
Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton wrote on Twitter that the president “was wrong to abandon thirty years of US policy on Western Sahara just to score a fast foreign policy victory."
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, a Democrat, said he is “concerned this announcement upends a credible, internationally supported U.N. process to address the territorial dispute over Western Sahara,” adding that “Casting aside legitimate multilateral avenues of conflict resolution only empowers countries like Russia and China to continue trampling on international rules and norms and rewards those who violate borders and the rights of free peoples,” The Hill reported.
Morocco annexed parts of the Western Sahara in 1979, but the international community did not recognize its claims due to the conflict with the separatist Polisario Front, which represents the indigenous Sahrawi people.
European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borell said the EU remains committed to the U.N. efforts to resolve the conflict.
Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner defended the move by saying “it's recognizing the inevitability of what is going to occur, but it also can possibly break the logjam to help advance the issues in the Western Sahara."
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