Morocco Refuses Any Involvement of African Union in ‘Western Sahara’ Issue : FM

Morocco expressed its categorical refusal of whatever role or involvement of the African Union in the the so-called Western Sahara issue, Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar made it clear in a letter sent on Wednesday to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

In the letter, Morocco reiterated its firm stand against any involvement of the African Union after the latter contacted the UN concerning the Sahara issue.

The Moroccan letter also recalled previous messages sent to the UN Secretary General in which Morocco clearly expressed its unwavering positions regarding the AU interference. These include the letters sent by HM King Mohammed VI in June 2013, Minister Delegate to Foreign Minister in December 26 and Morocco’s Permanent Representatives to the UN on June 9 and July 1n 2014.

The AU request of collaboration between its special envoy Joaquim Chissano and the Security Council is a recent manoeuvre that Morocco deems totally unacceptable, Mezouar made it clear in the letter.

Mezouar went on to highlight the legitimate reasons underlying Morocco’s firm stand against any involvement of the Sahara issue. In this respect, he said that the political negotiation process on the Moroccan Sahara issue is exclusively conducted under the umbrella of the UN after the consecutive failures of the Organisation of the African Union in settling the dispute.

Morocco’s foreign Minister also criticized the lack of neutrality of the African Union which openly supports the other parties and launches hostile campaigns against the Kingdom echoing the stands of Algeria and the Polisario. An illustration of the AU flagrant partiality is the latest decision by the Peace and Security Council of the AU regarding the Moroccan Sahara, deplored the Minister.

Morocco’s strong rejection of any involvement of the AU in the Sahara also stems from the fact that the AU has shown stark bias in prejudging the UN negotiation process by admitting the membership of an entity lacking sovereignty attributes, the Minister made it clear.

With hindsight, Mezouar points out to the lack of credibility of the AU and its positions that contradict the fundamentals of the UN process aiming to reach a political, mutually acceptable and realistic solution through compromise.

Another reason behind Morocco’s firm refusal of any AU involvement lies in the fact that the continental organisation continues to stick to obsolete proposals and plans proven to be unfeasible and which may lead to sapping the efforts led by the UN to resolve the Sahara issue, explained the Minister.

The manoeuvres of the AU carry the risk of serious repercussions on the whole political process sponsored by the UN which enjoys the support of all parties to the conflict and the international community including African states, warns Mezouar.

In this context, Morocco reiterates once again its full commitment in favour of the UN-led negotiation process, said the Minister in the letter.

Morocco renews its full trust in the efforts deployed by the UN Secretary General in order to find a political, negotiated and mutually acceptable solution to the Sahara issue, added the Minister recalling the phone talks held by HM the King and Ban Ki-moon on January 22, 2015.