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| | |-+  Mbeki takes up cause of Western Sahara
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Author Topic: Mbeki takes up cause of Western Sahara  (Read 6012 times)
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« on: September 18, 2004, 02:00:40 PM »

South African leader urges fellow Africans to do everything possible to support independence of Western Sahara.

By Carole Landry - MIDRAND, South Africa

South African President Thabo Mbeki urged fellow Africans on Thursday to "do everything possible" to support independence for the Western Sahara after his government recognised the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

The move caused a diplomatic spat with Morocco, which annexed the territory after Spanish colonists withdrew in 1975 and which responded by recalling its ambassador from Pretoria.

"It is a matter of great shame and regret to all of us that nevertheless the issue of self-determination for the people of Western Sahara remains unresolved," Mbeki said in his address at the opening of the Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria.

"This presents all of us with the challenge to ensure that we do everything possible to ensure that these sister people also enjoy this fundamental and inalienable right, whose defence by the entirety of our continent brought us our own freedom," he said.

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