The worst-case scenario most dreaded by Algiers on the Western Sahara issue actually came true. The latest visit of French President, François Hollande, to the North African country has not foretold the slightest change in France’s stance on this issue, as wished for by Algeria. On the contrary the visit has re-confirmed the unwavering position of Paris regarding the regional conflict.
To a question on the issue by an Algerian reporter, the French head of state replied calmly: "France supports a negotiated and mutually acceptable solution to the Western Sahara issue in accordance with the Security Council resolutions and the parameters clearly defined by the UN body."
And to cut short any misreading of his remarks, François Hollande said, just as calmly, "Realism and the spirit of compromise must prevail to enable reaching a political solution to this dispute which has lasted for too long."
The French president went a bit further and offered France’s assistance "to help the parties move forward towards a solution." He did not name the parties. They will recognize themselves by themselves.
François Hollande's remarks were all the more bitter for Algiers and for Tindouf, the Polisario stronghold in Algeria, as they were made by a leftist president.
In fact, France's position on the Western Sahara issue has been unswerving over years, whether the country is ruled by a rightist or a leftist government, since Paris knows perfectly well the origin and the real actors of this fabricated conflict.
In addition, France’s position has been aligned on almost all resolutions of the Security Council since 2007. At this time, Morocco had proposed an autonomy plan for Western Sahara and the international community had eagerly welcomed it.
Since then, the Security Council has been underscoring the need to reach a political solution on the basis of realism and compromise to end a regional conflict that has been artificially kindled for nearly four decades.