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Date of posting : July 1, 2018

Elected Officials of Dakhla-Oued Eddahab Region Reaffirm to Köhler that Autonomy is the Only Solution to Sahara 

 The elected officials, Sheikhs and notables of Sahrawi tribes in the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region reaffirmed, on Saturday, during a meeting in Dakhla with the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Moroccan Sahara, Horst Köhler, that the autonomy initiative is the only solution for the settlement of the artificial conflict over the Moroccan Sahara.
During this meeting, which took place in the presence of Morocco’s permanent Representative to the United Nations, ambassador Omar Hilal, the various speakers stressed the serious and realistic nature of the Moroccan autonomy plan which enjoys very broad support from the international community, calling on Köhler to support this initiative which guarantees the dignity, freedom and rights of the local population.

They also highlighted the great dynamic of development in the southern provinces, reinforced by the launch by HM King Mohammed VI, in November 2015, of the new development model for these provinces on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Glorious Green March.

On this occasion, president of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region, Ynja Al Khattat, reviewed the development projects being implemented at the regional level within the framework of the development model of the southern provinces, worth some 77 billion dirhams.

He also highlighted the climate of stability and quietude prevailing in the region, as well as the all-out efforts made to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development in these provinces.

Köhler, who is currently in Morocco as part of his second regional tour that has already taken him to Algeria and Mauritania, visited Saturday morning Dakhla after the cities of Laayoune and Smara.

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.

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.