Morocco, Azerbaijan in same fight against foreign-backed separatists

Both Morocco and Azerbaijan have suffered from the remnants of separatists hosted and armed by hostile neighboring states.

Morocco has struggled to recover its territorial integrity and sovereignty after enduring the painful experience of double French and Spanish colonization that drew arbitrary borders, amputating the Kingdom of territories that were until a recent past part of its borders.

The retrieval of the Sahara in 1975 from Spanish colonialism was supposed to be welcomed by neighboring Algeria, but the socialist regime there preferred instead to host and nurture a secessionist militia, hijacking prospects for regional integration in North Africa and imposing an arms race in the region to the detriment of co-development and neighborliness.

In Azerbaijan arbitrarily drawn borders by the Soviet Union disregarded the ethnic composition of territories, leading to an ethnic conflict between ethnic Azeris and Armenians in the province of Nagorno Karabakh, a self-proclaimed entity backed by Armenia, a situation that caused massacres and displacement of tens of thousands of Azeris.

Nonetheless, the lack of international support for such separatist militias that act as proxies for neighboring states with a hegemonic agenda has set the course of events in favor of both Morocco and Azerbaijan.

In an article published recently on Eurasia Diary, Azeri researcher Anastasia Lavrina drew a parallelism between the two Moroccan and Azeri territories that are contested by foreign-backed militias.

The Polisario and the Nagorno-Karabakh separatists both seek recognition through resorting to propaganda and the spread of unfounded information to sign deals that are supposed to give them the appearance of a state, the researcher wrote.

These agreements include twining agreements that often put those who signed them in an embarrassing situation after finding out the truth about such imaginary states.

The course of events recently shows that many states that used to back separatism are backtracking, she said, citing Salvador which broke all ties with the Polisario and the cancellation of the “friendship” agreement dated October 22, 2018, signed between the mayor of the French City of Arnouville Pascal Doll and the separatist leader of the residential point of the Khojavand district of Azerbaijan, which is now under occupation by the Armenian armed forces.

Salvador joined the list of countries that consider Morocco’s autonomy plan as a solution for the Western Sahara conflict. Early this month, Brazil, Chile, Republic of Suriname, and the Dominican Republic also reaffirmed their interest in the development of bilateral cooperation with Morocco in various sectors and expressed their support of Moroccan position on Western Sahara, she said.

Morocco is garnering more international support for its position on Western Sahara, as well as the autonomy proposal it submitted to the Security Council in 2007, said the Azeri researcher, underscoring her country’s support for Morocco’s sovereignty over its southern provinces.

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