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House spending bill repudiates Morocco on Western Sahara

The political wrangling over President Donald Trump’s border wall has dealt Morocco an unwelcome setback.
Hamuya Khalil, 49, a Polisario fighter, stands in an armored vehicle at a forward base on the outskirts of Tifariti, Western Sahara, September 9, 2016. REUTERS/ Zohra Bensemra          SEARCH ìPOLISARIOî FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.  - S1BEUKRIGMAA

The US House of Representatives just passed a bill repudiating Morocco’s occupation of the Western Sahara, long the subject of a tug of war between the House and the Senate. The new language is an important — but largely symbolic — win for the Algerian-backed Polisario Front, which advocates for independence.

As a result of the ongoing government shutdown, House Democrats used their new majority to pass a spending bill last week in a mostly party-line vote with language that originated in the Republican-held Senate last year. That language treats the disputed Western Sahara as a sovereign entity, dealing a blow to Morocco.

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