Morocco withdrew from Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and recalled its Riyadh Ambassador for deliberations

Morocco officially declared withdrawal from the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Saudi Arabia participated in Yemen’s civil strife since early 2015 joining forces with Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in his war against Iran-sponsored Houthi rebels. The Saudi coalition has conducted more than 18.000 raids on Houthi strongholds but still both parties have reached a military stalemate and diplomatic impasse. Houthis effectively control most urban centres, including the capital Sanaa.

In an interview at Al Jazeera last month, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita justified Rabat’s progressive withdrawal from Saudi coalition citing the grave humanitarian situation on the battleground – mostly caused from ongoing skirmishes between the two adversaries. Rabat had already diminished its military presence in the Yemeni conflict since May 2015, when an F-16 fighter aircraft was successfully intercepted by Houthi rebels.

Upon the interview, the Saudi television channel Al Arabiya presented a documentary on the Western Sahara sovereignty problem. The documentary proposed that Morocco unlawfully captured the territory. Morocco reacted by summoning his ambassador from Riyadh for additional deliberations. Morocco considers Western Sahara an internal part of its state, even though its sovereignty status has been internationally disputed.

Yemen’s civil strife has precipitated the ongoing humanitarian crisis. More than 14 million people live near the brink of starvation and more than 85.000 children have lost their lives due to hunger.

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