Sahara Issue Is at New Turning Point with Clear Objectives and Parameters - FM

Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita, said Friday that the national issue is at a "significant turning point" with clear parameters and objectives.


There is no solution outside the autonomy initiative, no leadership other than that of the United Nations, and no means other than negotiation in the presence of all stakeholders, including Algeria, he said at the Ministerial Conference in Support of the Autonomy Initiative under Morocco's Sovereignty, held virtually at the invitation of the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States of America.


According to Bourita, the national issue has undergone significant developments in recent months thanks to the vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, either through the inauguration of a set of consulates in the cities of Dakhla and Laayoune, or the telephone conversation between HM the King and US President Donald Trump, which included a series of announcements, the most important of which was the US recognition of Morocco's full sovereignty over the southern provinces, and the US administration's support for the autonomy proposal as the sole basis for a final settlement of the regional dispute over the Sahara.


Morocco, thanks to the direct actions undertaken by HM the King, has moved from the management stage to that of changing the parameters of this issue, the minister said during this event that he co-chaired with US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, David Schenker.


The international community stressed unanimously that there was no solution to this issue other than within the framework of autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty, he added.


The US decision to recognize the full sovereignty of Morocco over all its southern provinces comes in an international context marked by the opening of consulates, Bourita noted, adding that the importance of the American decision lies in the fact that it comes from a member country of the Security Council.


The US position gives a strong impetus to the UN process. The political process is not an end in itself but has a meaning and an objective: achieving a solution within the framework of Moroccan sovereignty, he went on. 


The Ministerial Conference, which was attended by 40 countries has helped to emphasize that support for the autonomy plan is an international trend that manifests itself both at the United Nations through successive resolutions of the Security Council and the positions expressed by several countries, and on the ground through the opening of consulates, as an expression of support for Morocco's sovereignty over all its southern provinces, Bourita concluded.