Western Sahara: Bolivia Withdraws Recognition Of Self-styled SADR

Bolivia has decided to withdraw its recognition of the Polisario’s self-styled Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, according to a communique released by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.

“Based on the explanations provided by the Kingdom of Morocco, the Plurinational State of Bolivia adopts constructive neutrality and the commitment to support the efforts of the United Nations and the international community so that the parties can reach a just, durable and mutually acceptable political solution in accordance with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations.

In that sense, the Plurinational State of Bolivia decided to suspend its current ties with the “Arab Republic of Democratic Saharaui (SADR),” reads the communique.

Bolivia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that given Morocco’s excellent relations with African and Arab countries, it will serve as the gateway to Africa and the Arab world for Bolivia, and the latter will serve as Morocco’s gateway to the Andean region in Latin America.

The move comes amidst an unprecedented diplomatic push by Morocco to convince many governments in Africa and Latin American to withdraw their recognition of the Polisario’s self-styled republic whose international backing has plummeted in recent years.

As recently as last December, Jamaica and Lesotho decided to suspends their diplomatic ties with the Polisario’s entity.

The decision of the Bolivian government constitutes a new setback for the Polisario as it deprives it of the diplomatic support of a country that has for long been regarded as its traditional ally in Latin America.

Bolivia and the Polisario have maintained diplomatic ties since the Bolivian government established diplomatic ties with the latter’s self-proclaimed government in 1982.

Bolivia increased its diplomatic support for the Polisario since the election of former President Evo Morales in January 2006. Former Polisario leader, Mohamed Abdelaziz was among personalities that attended the swearing-in of the then newly elected Bolivian President.

With the ousting of Morales following the presidential elections of last October, which were eventually annulled, the new right-leaning provisional government headed by Jeanine Añez Chávez seems intent to break away from Morales political and diplomatic legacy.

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