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Date of posting : July 1, 2018

Elected Members, MPs from Laayoune region Reaffirm to Köhler Attachment to Autonomy Initiative

Elected members and parliamentarians from Laayoune-Sakia-El Hamra region reiterated, Thursday in Laayoune, during a meeting with UN Secretary General Personal Envoy for the Moroccan Sahara Horst Köhler, their unwavering attachment to the Moroccan autonomy plan as the unique solution to the artificial conflict over the Moroccan Sahara.

“As the legitimate representatives of the local population, the elected members and parliamentarians of the region, of different political formations, reaffirm their attachment to the autonomy initiative presented by Morocco to definitively put an end to the dispute over the Moroccan Sahara” said, on this occasion, president of the Council of the Laayoune-Sakia-El Hamra region Sidi Hamdi Ouled Errachid.

He reiterated the unequivocal and substantial support of the international community for the autonomy plan, described by the UN Security Council as “credible and realistic”.

During this meeting, attended by Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations Omar Hilal, other elected members and parliamentarians from the Laayoune region highlighted the relevance of the autonomy initiative, stressing the attachment of the local population to this solution, which offers an applicable and realistic solution to settle definitively this long-running dispute.

At this meeting, Ouled Errachid also surveyed the new model of development in the southern provinces, launched by HM King Mohammed VI in Laayoune, and for which about 77 billion dirhams were allocated.

He recalled, in this regard, that this model of development targets infrastructure, education, health, higher education, the development of renewable energy, employment and the promotion of the Hassani culture.

The development efforts of the region were also at the center of a meeting held by Köhler with the wali of the region, governor of Laayoune province Yahdih Bouchaab, in the presence of officials from foreign services.

Horst Köhler, who is currently on a visit to Morocco as part of a second regional tour, arrived Thursday morning in Laayoune.

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.