Moroccan Autonomy Plan, an Option to Solve Sahara Issue, Says US Official

The Morocco-proposed autonomy plan is an option to solve the Sahara issue, said, Friday, the US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan who is on a visit to the Kingdom as part of a regional tour.

“Our policy in this regard has not changed. We consider that the Moroccan project for autonomy in the Sahara is one of the potential options to remedy the situation,” said the US official at a press briefing in Rabat after his talks with Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.

Reiterating Washington’s stand on the autonomy proposal, the Deputy Secretary of State said the autonomy plan presented by Morocco is “a serious, realistic and credible” plan that could meet the expectations of the Sahara population”.

He noted that the United States will continue supporting Morocco’s efforts to find a solution to the conflict under the auspices of the United Nations.

“The most important thing is that our dialogue with the Moroccan government on the autonomy plan, which is serious credible and realistic, will continue… Our cooperation is ongoing today and will continue tomorrow,” he said, adding that Washington supports the UN-led diplomatic process and the UN efforts to achieve a lasting and mutually acceptable political solution to the Sahara conflict.

John Sullivan also underlined that Morocco is a key partner for the United States in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

Morocco, a major Non-NATO ally of the United States, contributes to address the different issues and problems facing the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and plays an active role as part of international efforts in the fight against the terrorist threat, notably in the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), noted the US official.

Sullivan, who welcomed Morocco’s leadership in the security field, said “the United States engages in close consultations with Morocco on topics of shared interest, as regional security, energy diversification, sustainable development and promotion of education and culture”.

Besides bilateral cooperation, Sullivan’s talks with the Moroccan Foreign Minister also covered a set of topical issues relating to the Middle East, Syria and North Africa.

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