King Mohammed VI has underlined the constructive initiatives made by Morocco for the resolution of the regional Sahara issue, stressing the country’s positive reaction to various international calls for practical proposals that can help achieve a realistic and lasting political settlement based on compromise and on the Autonomy Initiative.
In a speech he made on the 43rd anniversary of the Green March that enabled Morocco to recover its Sahara provinces, formerly under Spanish dominion, the Monarch said Morocco continues to safeguard its territorial integrity “with clarity, ambition, responsibility and committed action, both domestically and at the United Nations”.
This clarity can be shown by the firm, resolute manner in which “we have been tackling all transgressions – whatever their origin – aimed at undermining Morocco’s legitimate rights or departing from the frame of reference agreed for the settlement process”, said King Mohammed VI.
As for ambition, it is reflected by Morocco’s cooperation in good faith with the UN Secretary-General and by the support it lends to his Personal Envoy to establish a serious and credible political process, added the Sovereign.
King Mohammed VI also called for setting a new dynamic in the UN-led negotiations, saying the United Nations should take into account the experience and the lessons of the past to avoid the deadlock of the Manhasset process.
At the domestic level, Morocco will continue the efforts to put an end to the policy of rent-seeking and refuse all forms of blackmail or exploitation of the country’s territorial integrity, said King Mohammed VI.
The Southern Provinces will carry on progress under the new development model to enable the Moroccan Sahara to play once again its historical role as a bridge between Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa, explained the Monarch.
In parallel, the implementation of advanced regionalization is contributing to the emergence of a genuine political elite that can effectively and democratically represent the inhabitants of the Sahara and enable them to exercise their right to run their local affairs themselves, and to achieve integrated development in a free and stable environment, underlined the Moroccan Sovereign.
Dealing with Morocco’s return to the African Union, the King pointed out that this return was not intended as a means to defend the question of the Moroccan Sahara, given that the position of most African nations is similar to the Kingdom’s.
“Our return to the African Union was dictated by the pride we take in belonging to Africa, as well as by our commitment to share in the development dynamic it is witnessing and to contribute to tackling the various challenges facing the Continent, without compromising our legitimate rights and best interests,” the Sovereign underlined.
King Mohammed VI who commended the recent decisions made by the AU Summit, held in Nouakchott, which were consistent with the relevant international positions and principles, noted that “this constructive attitude means wisdom and far-sightedness have prevailed”.
“It also constitutes a break with ploys that used to proliferate within the African Union. Because of these practices, Africa and African peoples lost precious time that should have been devoted to promoting development and integration,” he said.
The King went on to say that Morocco will invest in effective, wealth-generating economic partnerships with all countries and economic blocs, including the European Union. He made it clear, however, that Morocco shall not be involved in any partnership that undermines the country’s territorial integrity.
“I am keen to make sure these partnerships benefit directly the inhabitants of the Moroccan Sahara first and foremost, and that they contribute to improving their livelihoods within their homeland, in an environment characterized by freedom and a dignified life,” the King said.