In his quest to limit the repercussions of the crisis that was ignited by his remarks, the Secretary-General of the Istiqlal Party Hamid Chabat yesterday officially apologised to the Mauritanian president, government and people in an editorial that he wrote for the party’s newspaper Al-Alam. He also directly addressed Mauritanians when he appeared on a television programme called “Al-Hadath Al-Abraz” in order to explain his remarks and “clear up any confusion and misunderstanding surrounding them”. The programme was broadcasted by Mauritania’s national television channel.
Chabat also asked the youth organisation of his party to cancel a demonstration that it had planned to hold in front of the headquarters of the Moroccan Foreign Ministry in solidarity with Chabat against the Moroccan Foreign Ministry’s statements about his remarks. At the same time, he insinuated that he would take disciplinary measures against members of the party’s executive committee that criticised him. He also called for the party’s national council to meet at the party’s headquarters in Rabat to discuss the implications of his remarks.
The apology that was published in an editorial article of the Al-Alam newspaper stated that “If it is necessary to apologise to the Mauritanian people for what may have resulted from a misunderstanding of the remarks made by the Secretary-General of the Istiqlal Party, the Secretary-General and the leaders of the Istiqlal Party do not hesitate to apologise to Mauritania; its president, government and people.” The article continued by stating that “The position of the Istiqlal Party on Mauritania is exactly what King Mohammed VI confirmed to the Mauritanian president Mohamed Abdelaziz during the last phone conversation between them”.