New Zealand tour wins support for Western Sahara

Published: Fri 4 Jun 2004 09:20 AM
Polisario representative's four city tour of New Zealand wins fresh support for Western Sahara
Kamal Fadel, the representative of the Polisario Front of Western Sahara based in Australia, toured New Zealand, May 25 to June 1, visiting Wellington, Christchurch, Nelson and Auckland. Mr Fadel said he found people in New Zealand quickly understood and lent their support for the cause of Western Sahara.
He noted that the widely supported and long established East Timor solidarity campaign helped people here understand the parallels with their fight. He said, "It is important for our people to know that people in a far-off place called New Zealand know about and support their struggle, it gives us the moral strength to continue."
Mr Fadel told an audience in Christchurch, "New Zealand can also play a positive role in the international forums to press the cause of Western Sahara. It is important you ask your members of parliament to raise this issue."
While in New Zealand, Mr Fadel was able to meet with members of parliament,non-government agencies and trade unionists and build links with Maori, who described to him the issues they face.
Western Sahara has been illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975. For the past twelve years the Moroccan Kingdom has refused to implement a UN-initiated referendum giving the Saharawi people the right to decide the future of their country.

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