Saudi Channel Al Hadath ReAirs Controversial Report on Western Sahara

Rabat – For the second time in a month, the Saudi-owned TV channel Al Arabiya Al Hadath aired a report critical of Moroccan sovereignty in the Western Sahara.The Saudi channel aired the controversial report several times on Friday, despite a current lack of developments related to the Western Sahara issue.The controversial report has been seen by Moroccan media as being in favor of Polisario by echoing its claims over Western Sahara and its description of Morocco as “an occupying force.” The tone of the report stands in total contrast with the Saudi public position, which is largely in support of Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed territories.The report, which was first aired on May 2016, was broadcast on June 2017 amid the tension between a group of Saudi-led countries and Qatar. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt all announced severing ties with Qatar and impose and embargo over the small Gulf country.Throughout the ongoing conflict, Rabat, an ally of both Riyadh and Doha, has taken a neutral position and offered to mediate between the two countries.The report of the Dubai-based Saudi-run news channel was read by observers and Moroccan media as an indication that Riyadh is not happy with Rabat’s decision not to side with it in its campaign against Doha.

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