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Date of posting : February 16, 2021

AJC: U.S. Recognition of Moroccanness of Sahara Is ‘Eminently Sound’ and ‘Deserves Continued Support’

 The recognition by the United States of Morocco’s sovereignty over its Sahara was “long-awaited,” American Jewish Committee (AJC) political affairs chief Jason Isaacson said.

The recognition of Morocco’s full sovereignty over its Sahara and the Abraham Accords —each representing a transformative break with conventional thinking— were long-awaited, eminently sound and deserve continued support,” Isaacson wrote in a story published on AJC website.

“That transformation extends to the Kingdom of Morocco, America’s oldest ally, which has been stymied for more than 60 years” in its efforts to reclaim its Sahara, he added.

According to Isaacson, it is in America’s interest to honor Morocco’s historical claim to the Sahara while also fully embracing, and promoting international acceptance of, Morocco’s autonomy plan for the Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty.

Thirty years after a United Nations-brokered truce between Moroccan forces and separatists of the Algeria-backed polisario, with a promised independence referendum never conducted and increasingly infeasible, and with Algeria perpetually resistant to a negotiated settlement under UN auspices that would recognize Moroccan claims, the time has come to adjust to reality, the U.S. expert pointed out.

Beginning under President George W. Bush, Washington began edging in the direction of support for Moroccan sovereignty, while also remaining committed to the UN peacekeeping force and negotiating mechanism to this regional dispute.

“Respecting a stance of fundamental importance to an ally, likely bringing greater stability and prosperity to a region that is a continental gateway, shouldn’t be a hard choice for America,” the author said.

Making it even easier is the decision taken by King Mohammed VI in December to re-establish relations with Israel, the expert underlined, adding that this decision offers great potential for economic, political and security benefits that would accrue to both peoples.

“A Morocco strengthened by the resolution of the Sahara dispute and by cooperation across multiple sectors with Israel will be “an ever-more capable partner of the United States in promoting regional stability, countering extremist forces and addressing human needs,” Isaacson concluded.