Supporters hold the flag of the Western Sahara independence movement, Polisario Front.

By: Sputnik News

Source: Sputnik News

DOHA (Sputnik) – The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) issued a statement on Thursday backing Morocco’s decision to cut diplomatic ties with Iran over the Tehran-allied Hezbollah movement’s alleged support for the Western Sahara independence movement Polisario Front.

On Tuesday, Nasser Bourita, the Moroccan foreign minister, told reporters that Rabat would cut diplomatic ties with Tehran because of the assistance Hezbollah was providing to the Polisario Front. According to media reports, Moroccan authorities have accused the Iranian Embassy in Algeria of having links with the separatist movement. Both Hezbollah and the Iranian Foreign Ministry have denied the accusations.

“The GCC confirms its complete and steady unity with the friendly kingdom of Morocco and expresses support to all the steps taken in order to strengthen its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and ensuring its security and stability,” the statement said.

According to the statement, Abdullatif bin Rashid Zayani, the general secretary of the GCC, has also condemned Iran’s interference in Morocco’s internal affairs.

On Wednesday, the Arab League also supported the Rabat’s decision.

Morocco claimed control of most of Western Sahara after the end of Spanish colonial administration of the territory in 1976. Fighting later broke out between Morocco and Polisario before ending in a ceasefire in September 1991. The UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara was deployed in the same year in an attempt to reach a lasting and mutually acceptable solution that would provide for the self-determination of Western Saharan people. Polisario still cannot agree with Morocco on the status of Western Sahara, demanding a referendum on self-determination.