US – Morocco: Congress to condition military cooperation with Rabat over Western Sahara

By Julian Pecquet
Posted on Thursday, 9 December 2021 00:42

Morocco US Western Sahara
Moroccan and US flags are seen outside the provisional consulate of the U.S in Dakhla, Morocco-administered Western Sahara, Jan. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Noureddine Abakchou)

Congress is poised to approve legislation that would condition US military cooperation with Morocco over the Western Sahara issue, one of several Africa-related provisions in the must-pass annual defense bill.

After several weeks of negotiations between members of the House and Senate over the FY 2022 National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA), lawmakers released their compromise bill on Tuesday. The House quickly passed it by a vote of 363 to 70, with the Senate poised to follow suit in the coming days.

The compromise nixed several Africa-related provisions that were in the Senate bill, but kept a few of them, including language that seeks to compel Rabat to work towards a political settlement in the Western Sahara, despite the Donald Trump administration’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the territory.