The remarks on the Western Sahara issue made by the Vice-President of the European Parliament, in Strasbourg on Thursday, have a special significance in the current regional juncture. The fact that the Spanish Miguel Angel Martinez urged Algiers to make "a step forward" to reach a solution to the Western Sahara issue means that Europeans are definitely convinced that Algeria holds the key to the conflict settlement.
"The Western Sahara issue is still an obstacle and we strive every day to go around it. We hope that this issue will find a way to a solution, but for that Algeria should make a step forward to try to participate in the solution,” insisted the vice president of the European Parliament. This position is backed by the approach that has been adopted unanimously for more than three decades by all the European capitals as well as by other international powers.
None of these powers has so far recognized the Polisario, knowing that the front, which is fighting Morocco for the independence of the Western Sahara, would have never existed without Algiers’ military and financial support.
The international community has therefore adopted a firm stand on the issue and both Europeans and Americans have repeatedly called for realistic negotiations. The objective sought is to maintain stability in the Maghreb and end a long-lasting conflict in a region threatened by a large scale destabilization risk.
On September 13, Washington has once again voiced support to the autonomy plan proposed by Morocco to reach a negotiated solution to the regional conflict. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton clearly reiterated the U.S. position on the issue, underscoring that the autonomy plan was "serious, realistic and credible."