The UN has issued a statement regretting ‘the misunderstanding’ Mr. Ban caused by his ‘occupation’ remark.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon regrets the ‘misunderstanding’ over his description of Morocco as the ‘occupier’ of Western Sahara.
‘His use of the word was not planned, nor was it deliberate, it was a spontaneous, personal reaction. We regret the misunderstandings and consequences that this personal expression of solicitude provoked’, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Monday.
The statement comes almost a month after Mr. Ban’s comments, which led to a serious dispute between Morocco and the United Nations.
‘Nothing [Mr. Ban] said or did in the course of that trip was meant to offend or express hostility toward the Kingdom of Morocco, which is a valued member of the United Nations’, Mr. Dujarric continued.
It was also made clear in the statetement that the position of the United Nations about the Western Sahara dispute remains ‘unchanged’.