John Bolton

In December, John Bolton said he was frustrated that the Western Sahara conflict «has not been resolved». In January, the US National Security Advisor did not comment on the Security Council’s review of the conflict.

Has John Bolton’s «hostility» towards Morocco on the Western Sahara issue stopped ? The meeting held on January the 29th at the Security Council on the territorial dispute suggests that the Trump administration’s National Security Advisor «reconsidered» his initial position.

«The meeting which was expected to include the presentation of the MINURSO’s head, Colin Stewart, was canceled at the very last minute», a well-informed source told Yabiladi, adding that «the session ended up containing a briefing of Horst Köhler on the ‘round-table’ held in Geneva on December the 5th and 6th».

Moreover, the provisional agenda published by the UN on the 3rd of January scheduled a series of consultations on MINURSO and not on the resumption of talks between Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario.

Bolton's «frustration»

The same source explained that «Americans are, reportedly, behind this change … a change that goes hand in hand with Morocco’s interests». It seems that Bolton’s «frustration» has faded away only a few weeks after his Washington speech at the Heritage Foundation think tank.

«Unlike the French, Americans cannot be considered as allies that Morocco can count on in all circumstances. This was confirmed on the same day Horst Köhler chaired the briefing held at the Security Council, when Americans welcomed the Algerian Foreign Minister», the same source argued.

«Overall, this is a positive stance for Morocco, especially as it would be followed by the appointment of David T. Fischer, the US new ambassador to the Kingdom», the same source added.

For the record, Bolton told reporters in December, 2018, that he’d «like to see (the Western Sahara conflict) resolved if the parties can agree on the way forward. That’s the preference».

The American official referred to the Western Sahara dispute while explaining the Trump administration’s new Africa strategy.

Moreover, he argued that his country will «no longer provide indiscriminate assistance across the entire continent, without focus or prioritization», adding that it will «no longer support unproductive, unsuccessful, and unaccountable UN peacekeeping missions», referring to MINURSO.

03/02/2019