Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar speaks during a news conference on a dispute with the United Nations, at the Foreign Ministry in Rabat, March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal
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Morocco said Tuesday that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's description of its annexation of Western Sahara as an "occupation" was not a misunderstanding but a "premeditated act to alter the nature of the dispute".The foreign ministry statement came a day after a U.N. spokesman said Ban regretted the "misunderstanding" over his use of the word, which led to Morocco expelling dozens of United Nations staff from its mission in the disputed territory.The standoff over Ban's comment is Morocco's worst disagreement with the United Nations since 1991, when the U.N. brokered a ceasefire to end a war over Western Sahara and established a peacekeeping mission there known as MINURSO.
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