Western Sahara “is not to be negotiated”, reaffirms King Mohammed VI of Morocco

The pass of arms continues between Morocco and Algeria which have broken off their diplomatic relations, and which oppose Western Sahara. Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, affirmed, Saturday, November 6, that this disputed territory between his country and the Sahrawi separatists supported by Algeria, “Is not to be negotiated”.

“Today as in the past, the Moroccanity of the Sahara will never be on the agenda of any negotiation ”, underlined the Moroccan monarch, in a speech broadcast by national television. “In fact, the Moroccanity of the Sahara is a truth as perennial as it is immutable. It does not suffer, therefore, any dispute “, he assured.

“If we start negotiations, it is mainly to achieve a peaceful settlement of this artificial regional conflict”, continued Mohammed VI in this speech delivered on the occasion of the 46e anniversary of the “Green March” towards Western Sahara.

In November 1975, at the call of King Hassan II, 350,000 Moroccans crossed on foot the border of Western Sahara, then a Spanish colony, in the name of “Belonging” from territory to kingdom.

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Diplomatic rupture

The United Nations (UN) Security Council called on the parties to the conflict a week ago to resume negotiations “Without preconditions and in good faith”.

These discussions are to be conducted, under the aegis of the new UN envoy, the Italo-Swedish Staffan de Mistura, “With a view to achieving a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution” in the perspective of a “Self-determination of the people of Western Sahara”, says the United Nations, in a resolution extending the UN mission (Minurso) in the region by one year.

The speech of the Moroccan sovereign, eagerly awaited, came at a time when relations between the two enemy brothers of the Maghreb are at their lowest. Last August, after months of friction, Algiers severed diplomatic relations with Morocco, accusing it of “Hostile actions”. Rabat regretted a decision “Completely unjustified”.

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The tension has further increased in recent days after Algeria reported a bombardment that caused the death of three Algerian truckers in Western Sahara, a territory disputed between Morocco and the Sahrawi separatists of the Polisario Front, which ‘Algiers attributed to Rabat.

American recognition

In his speech, the king welcomed the decision of former President Donald Trump, in December 2020, to recognize the sovereignty of Rabat over Western Sahara, in return for normalizing Morocco’s relations with Israel.

“It is the natural corollary of the constant support of previous American administrations and the illustration of their constructive contribution to the process of settling the question of the Sahara”, he rejoiced.

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Finally, Mohammed VI praised the intervention of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) which “Restored the free movement of people and goods at the Guerguerat crossing point” connecting Morocco and Mauritania.

On November 13, 2020, a ceasefire concluded in 1991 between Morocco and the Polisario Front under the auspices of the UN had shattered after the deployment of Moroccan troops in the far south of Western Sahara to dislodge separatists which blocked the only road to Mauritania, according to them illegal. The Polisario has since declared a state of war.

“This firm peaceful action put an end to the provocations and aggressions which Morocco had already signaled to the international community to be serious for the security and stability of the region”, justified the monarch.

Western Sahara, located on the Atlantic coast and bordered by Morocco, Mauritania and Algeria, is considered a “Non-self-governing territory” by the UN in the absence of a final settlement. With its rich mining subsoil and its coasts full of fish, it is the only territory on the African continent whose post-colonial status remains unresolved. Morocco controls 80% and offers broad autonomy under its sovereignty, while the Polisario calls for a referendum on self-determination.

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The World with AFP

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Western Sahara “is not to be negotiated”, reaffirms King Mohammed VI of Morocco