UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations Security Council is calling for the controversy between Morocco and the U.N. secretary-general to be addressed so the peacekeeping mission in the disputed Western Sahara can resume full operation.
The council late Thursday stressed the importance of addressing the circumstances that led to the current situation "in a constructive, comprehensive and cooperative manner."
Morocco ordered the expulsion of 84 international civilian staff members and closed a military liaison office to protest Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's use of the word "occupation" in describing Western Sahara's status during a recent visit to refugee camps in Algeria.
Morocco's Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar said Thursday the expulsion of the civilian staff is "irreversible." U.N. officials have warned that the peacekeeping mission will have to shut down unless Morocco reverses its expulsion order.