Morocco, Sweden Mend Ties after Diplomatic Row

Morocco and Sweden are mending their strained relations after a row over a failed attempt last year in Stockholm to recognize the Algerian-based auto-proclaimed SADR republic.

In a sign of easing tensions between the two countries, Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, who is visiting Morocco, met on Wednesday her Moroccan counterpart Salaheddine Mezouar to discuss the means to boost bilateral relations.

Relations between Rabat and Stockholm have been strained since 2015, when Sweden was considering the possibility of recognizing the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, auto-proclaimed by the separatist Polisario Front.

Sweden’s centre-left government, which came to power in 2014, abandoned the idea in January 2016. The Social Democrats, who voted to recognize the SADR as a “free and independent state” while in opposition in 2012, had held an internal consultation on the issue after taking office in 2014.

Last January, Wallström announced Sweden would not recognize the Algerian-based separatist entity as an independent state because it lacked key criteria for being a state. She said that Sweden would support UN-led negotiations on the issue.

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