US unveils new map of Morocco that includes Sahara region

Washington recognises Rabat’s sovereignty over the area after it agreed to establish ties with Israel

David T. Fischer (L), US Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco, and his wife Jennifer (R) stand before a US State Department-authorised map of Morocco recognising the internationally-disputed territory of the Western Sahara (bearing a signature by Fischer) as a part of the North African kingdom, in Morocco's capital Rabat on December 12, 2020. / AFP / -
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The United States adopted a new official map of Morocco that includes the Sahara, the American ambassador to Rabat announced.

The Sahara region is a disputed and divided former Spanish colony, mostly under Morocco's control, where tensions with the pro-independence militant Polisario Front have simmered since the 1970s.

"This map is a tangible representation of President Trump's bold proclamation two days ago – recognising Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara," ambassador David Fischer said.

He then signed the "new official US government map of the kingdom of Morocco" at a ceremony at the US embassy in the capital Rabat.

The map will be presented to Morocco's King Mohammed VI, he said.

Morocco on Thursday became the fourth Arab state this year, after the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, to announce it had agreed to normalise relations with Israel.

US President Donald Trump in turn fulfilled a decades-old goal of Morocco by backing its sovereignty over the Sahara.

The UAE and Jordan each recently opened consulates in the Sahara region, further recognising the widely held position of most Arab states that the area is Moroccan.