Sahara: Polisario Furious over Mauritania’s Stand Supporting Lasting Political Solution

The polisario leaders were sensing a change in the stand of Mauritania regarding the Sahara regional conflict, before the new President, Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, took over.

The fears of the separatists, who currently feel abandoned, were confirmed following the remarks made lately by Mauritania’s top diplomat Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

At a press conference held last week after the government council’s weekly meeting, the Mauritanian Foreign Minister said the Sahara issue has lasted too long, affirming that it is high time to put an end to this issue in order to unlock the Arab Maghreb Union or maintain at least peaceful and fruitful bilateral relations between Maghreb neighbors.

Despite its position of neutrality, Mauritania will not stand back with its arms crossed, but will engage in the dynamic seeking to find “a lasting political solution acceptable to all parties to the conflict”, stressed Mr. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

These remarks have irked and upset the polisario separatist group, armed, funded and sheltered by the Algerian regime, which spent billions of petrodollars in a bid to undermine Morocco’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over its Sahara.

The statement of the Mauritanian Foreign Minister comes after the adoption by the Security Council by an overwhelming majority of resolution 2494 on the Sahara. It also follows the speech made by King Mohammed VI on the occasion of the 44th anniversary of the Green March during which the Sovereign affirmed that the autonomy plan is the only solution to the Sahara issue, and renewed his commitment to establishing sound, solid relations with sister Maghreb countries.

The current situation in the region and in the Mediterranean basin requires positive action, given the opportunities and the challenges involved, and “young people in the Maghreb want us to provide an open space conducive to communication and exchange,” the Monarch said, adding, “the corporate sector expects us to bring about conditions to boost development.”

The King also deplored the inaction and limited development, which are having an adverse impact on the peoples of the five Maghreb countries.

During his inauguration ceremony, the new Mauritanian president Ould Ghazouani gave an icy welcome to the Polisario chief Brahim Ghali, a sign of a shift in the Nouakchott stand, and in his address before the latest UN General Assembly in September, he did not make any reference to the Sahara conflict.

The former president Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz has clearly marked the way to his successor, stating bluntly during the last months of his mandate, that there is no place for a state between Morocco and Mauritania.

Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, had told online newspaper Arai Al Yaoum (April 11, 2019) that “the United States, Europe and the West do not want a state placed between Morocco and Mauritania”.

Meanwhile, the Moroccan Sovereign, who was among the first Heads of State to congratulate the new Mauritanian president for his victory, expressed “firm determination to work with Ould Ghazouani to give a strong impetus to the fruitful cooperation ties between Morocco and Mauritania”, serving the two neighboring countries’ shared interests.

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