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Algerian FM 'satisfied' with Biden’s Western Sahara policy

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf also discussed the possibility for military intervention in Niger, his country’s relationship with Russia and improved US-Algeria ties under the Biden administration.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf.

WASHINGTON — Algeria's top diplomat said he's "very much satisfied" with the Biden administration's policy toward Western Sahara, even as the administration chose not to rescind former President Donald Trump's recognition of Moroccan sovereignty.

As part of efforts to normalize ties between Morocco and Israel, the Trump administration in December 2020 delivered a long-sought diplomatic win to Rabat by formally recognizing its decades-old territorial claim to Western Sahara. 

The State Department says there has been no change since in US policy on Western Sahara, where the Algeria-backed Polisario Front rebel movement is seeking independence from Morocco, which annexed the former Spanish colony in 1975 and now exercises de facto control over nearly 80% of it. 

But Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf, who spoke with Al-Monitor following his meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other senior US officials last week, said the Biden administration’s recent statements on Western Sahara indicate a more favorable position than under Trump. 

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