UK: MPs, Lords urge British Executive to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara without delay

UK: MPs, Lords urge British Executive to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara without delay

Over thirty British members of Parliament and Lords have sent a letter to the Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, urging the British executive to “officially and without delay” support the Moroccan autonomy plan as the “only solution” to the artificial conflict over the Sahara, and pointing out that Morocco deserves UK’s full and unequivocal support.

In the letter addressed to the Foreign secretary on Friday in a bipartisan approach, the signatories pointed out that the Morocco-proposed autonomy initiative, besides being the “most pragmatic” path, “balanced with respect for local traditions and democratic aspirations,” “offers a viable path toward lasting peace and stability.”

The MPs and members of the House of Lords recalled that the autonomy initiative is “widely supported” by London’s allies and over 80 countries worldwide, and specified that rallying around this plan, which constitutes “the only realistic solution,” reflects the will of international partners to promote regional stability and prosperity, “thus reinforcing the central role of the autonomy initiative in advancing peace efforts.”
“There must be no room for more separatism or division,” they insisted, assuring that on the contrary, it is necessary to “strengthen Morocco’s proactive engagement in promoting regional security and stability.”

“Remaining neutral or attempting alternative resolutions can only perpetuate a harmful status quo that endangers regional security,” argued the letter signatories, several of whom having visited Morocco and its southern provinces. During their trip to the region, they had the opportunity to meet local leaders, civil society representatives, and human rights organizations, the signatories recalled, pointing out that their observations, coupled with those of respected scholars like Professor Marc Weller, Chair of International Law and International Constitutional Studies at the University of Cambridge, reinforce their “conviction that the United Kingdom must proactively support Morocco’s autonomy plan.”

Furthermore, the Sahara region has the potential to significantly improve energy opportunities, secure supply chains, and provide access to new markets, they wrote, citing strategic infrastructures, such as the “impressive” port of Dakhla, as evidence of sustainable progress, allowing the region to establish itself as a hub of innovation and international cooperation.

“Morocco deserves our full and unequivocal support”

The MPs and Lords stated further that to fully realize this potential, London must provide the support of its financial institutions, such as UK Export Finance (UKEF) and British International Investment (BII). This approach, adopted by other countries such as the United States and France, is compatible with the association agreement concluded with Morocco, which covers the Moroccan Sahara region and has been deemed legal by the High Court of London, they added.

The signatories argued that the UK must strengthen its alliances with stable, like-minded nations “to promote regional stability and international security,” assuring that among these partner nations, Morocco “holds a prominent place.” “It is a leading strategic ally in North Africa, sharing crucial values and perspectives with our country.”

The upcoming strategic dialogue between the UK and Morocco presents a unique opportunity for the UK to redefine its role and influence in the region, the signatories noted, asserting that “Morocco deserves our full and unequivocal support.”

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