Sahara: Morocco’s Firm Policy Helped Put Settlement Process Back on Right Track – King Mohammed VI

King Mohammed VI has pointed out Sunday that Morocco’s firm and unambiguous policy has helped put the process of the settlement of the artificial dispute over the Sahara back on the right track.

This came in a speech he delivered Sunday on the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and People, a national epic illustrating the heroic struggle jointly staged by the Moroccan Monarch and people against the French colonial authorities, which exiled on August 20, 1953, the Late King Mohammed V and the Royal Family.

The exile ignited a fierce resistance that ended only in 1955 after Morocco recovered its independence and the Royal family returned home.

In his speech, King Mohammed VI surveyed the developments of the issue of the kingdom’s territorial integrity, mentioning as an instance the positive impact that Morocco’s African policy has had on the issue and the fresh momentum given to the examination of this question at the United Nations.

“Our African policy has had a direct, positive impact on the question of our territorial integrity, be it with regard to states’ positions or the resolutions adopted by the African Union,” he said, adding “This, in turn, has given fresh momentum to the examination of this question at the United Nations Organization.

He also underscored that if 2016 was the year of resolve and intransigence that helped put the process back on the right track, 2017 was the year of clarity, as evidenced by the UN Secretary-General’s report as well as by the Security Council resolution adopted last April.

“Whereas 2016 was the year of resolve and intransigence, during which we matched action with words to thwart the schemes designed to impinge on our rights, 2017 has been the year of clarity and of a return to the standards and principles for the settlement of the artificial dispute over the Moroccanness of the Sahara”.

“This firm, unambiguous policy has helped put the process back on the right track, thereby halting the plots designed to divert it into the unknown,” the Monarch said.

“This was confirmed by the UN Secretary-General’s report as well as the Security Council resolution adopted last April, be it in terms of commitment to the frame of reference for a settlement, the appreciation of the autonomy proposal as a negotiating framework, or the determination of the legal and political responsibilities of the real party concerned in this regional dispute,” he noted.

The Resolution that was unanimously adopted by the Security Council actually called on neighboring countries, notably Algeria, which claims it is not a party to the conflict, to uphold their responsibility and bring a substantive contribution to the political settlement process.

King Mohammed VI went on to say that “the proactive, composed and firm manner in which we settled the Guerguerat crisis thwarted the efforts to change the facts on the ground in our Sahara and helped put to rest the myth of the ‘liberated territories’ peddled by Morocco’s enemies”.

In parallel with these developments, he said, international support for the autonomy proposal has continued, as illustrated by the growing number of states, which have withdrawn their recognition of the fictional entity and by the legal settlement concerning Morocco’s economic partnership with a number of influential powers”.

The UN Security Council, which repeatedly described the autonomy proposal as “serious and credible” again highlighted in its latest resolution Morocco’s efforts to settle the Sahara conflict through the autonomy initiative.
Besides, the April Resolution text was in line with the UN Secretary General’s plan to relaunch the political process with a view to reaching a realistic solution with a spirit of compromise.

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