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Date of posting : June 27, 2018

FM Receives UNSG Personal Envoy for the Moroccan Sahara in Rabat

 Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, received, Wednesday in Rabat, UNSG personal envoy for the Moroccan Sahara, Horst Kohler, who is on a working visit to Morocco as part of his 2nd regional tour.

Kohler, who has already been to Algeria and Mauritania, will continue his visit to Morocco in the southern provinces of the kingdom to notice, first-hand, efforts made in terms of socio-economic development in the region.
This regional tour comes following the adoption of resolution 2414 dated April 27, 2018, in which the UNSC reaffirmed the pre-eminence of the Moroccan autonomy initiative, stressed the need to make progress in the search for a realistic, pragmatic and lasting political solution to the Moroccan Sahara issue, and called on neighboring States to make an important contribution to the political process and to engage further in the negotiations.

In fact UNSC resolution 2414 on the Moroccan Sahara brought clarifications on three main aspects: The first is related to the historical and legal status east of the defence structure and actions by the polisario. In this regard, the UNSC confirmed the status of the zone east of the defence structure as a buffer zone under the ceasefire agreements, where no military or civil activities could take place.
The second aspect specifies the aim of the political process namely « reaching a realistic, pragmatic and lasting political solution of compromise », conditions that are met by the political solution advocated by Morocco as part of the Moroccan autonomy initiative.
The third aspect clearly identifies stakeholders by explicitly asking neighbouring countries, therefore Algeria, to make an important contribution to the political process and to engage further in the negotiations.
Thus, the SC resolution confirms Algeria’s status as an actor and stakeholder, which must be strongly involved in the search for a political solution.
From a humanitarian point, the Security Council resolution reiterates its call on Algeria to honor its international obligations towards the populations of the Tindouf camps, by urging again Algeria to consider the registration of refugees in the Tindouf camps and stressing the need to undertake efforts in this regard.

Concerning regional stability, the Security Council places the dispute over the Moroccan Sahara in its regional context, by recognizing that a political solution to the dispute will strengthen cooperation among the Maghreb countries and contribute to the stability and security of the Sahel region.
It is worth to recall that on the occasion of the meeting in Lisbon in March 2018 with the Personal Envoy, the Moroccan delegation reaffirmed the fundamentals of the Moroccan position as reiterated in HM the King’s speech on the occasion of the commemoration of the 42nd anniversary of the Green March, on November 6, 2017:

-‘No’ to any solution to the Sahara question other than within the framework of Morocco’s full sovereignty over its Sahara and the Autonomy Initiative, which has been declared serious and credible by the international community.
-Draw lessons from past experience, for the problem is not so much finding a solution as determining the process that produces it; for this reason, all the parties that have concocted this dispute must fully shoulder their responsibility in order for a final solution to be reached.
-Ensure full compliance with the terms of reference adopted by the UN Security Council when addressing this artificial regional dispute, for the Security Council is the only international body tasked with overseeing the settlement process.
-Outright rejection of any transgression or attempt to infringe on Morocco’s legitimate rights or its best interests; rejection of any obsolete proposals designed to divert the settlement process from the set terms of reference, or to introduce or impose other issues which are dealt with by other relevant bodies.