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Date of posting : March 9, 2018

Bourita : Moroccan Delegation had ‘Fruitful’ Discussions with UNSG Personal Envoy for Sahara

Talks held on Tuesday in Lisbon between a Moroccan delegation and UN Secretary-General Personal Envoy for the Moroccan Sahara, Horst Kohler, were “fruitful”, minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, said on Tuesday evening.

“Overall, the talks took place in an atmosphere of serenity and discussions were rich and fruitful,” Bourita told reporters following the talks, adding that discussions were held in an atmosphere marked by seriousness and mutual respect.
The Moroccan delegation had a “bilateral meeting” with the UNSG personal envoy for the Moroccan Sahara, he said.
“This is neither a negotiation process nor a negotiation, but a meeting to discuss the developments of the Moroccan Sahara issue,” Bourita noted.
During the discussions, the Moroccan delegation recalled the origins of this regional dispute as well as the political, legal and geostrategic factors that triggered it in the 1970s, Bourita pointed out.
The meeting was also an opportunity for the relevant members of the Moroccan delegation to highlight efforts made by the Kingdom to implement a regional development model and put in place the structures needed for an advanced regionalization, he said.
The Moroccan delegation also presented the details of the Moroccan autonomy initiative, the context of its elaboration, its rich content and its very solid legal bases, he added.
According to Bourita, the discussions were also an opportunity to discuss the Maghreb, the cost of the non-Maghreb and the reasons behind the deadlock of the Maghreb construction.
During these talks, the Moroccan delegation was guided by the bases outlined in the speech delivered by HM King Mohammed VI on November 6, 2017, in which the Sovereign had defined the principles and terms of reference that have to be respected to carry on the process, Bourita said.
Firstly, the solution must be within the framework of the sovereignty of the Kingdom, its territorial integrity and its national unity. Secondly, the process should include all the stakeholders in this dispute, including the parties that were behind this regional dispute. Thirdly, the process must be held under the aegis of the United Nations without any intervention from any other regional or international organization. And fourthly, the process must focus on political issues and avoid all the peripheral issues designed to divert the settlement process from its main objectives, the minister explained.
Led by Bourita, the Moroccan delegation included Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations, Sidi Hamdi Ould Errachid, President of the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region and Ynja Khattat, President of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region.
The participation of the Moroccan delegation in this bilateral meeting, at the invitation of the Personal Envoy, “is part of Morocco’s continuous cooperation with the United Nations to reach a final political solution to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation had previously said in a statement.