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Date of posting : April 7, 2018

Govt. Chief : Morocco will Strongly Resist Any Attempt to Change Status Quo in Buffer Zone

Head of government Saad Eddine El Othmani reaffirmed, Thursday, Morocco’s total and categorical rejection of all attempts by separatists to change the status quo in the buffer zone, stressing that the Kingdom will stand firm against these attempts.

In the face of violations committed by the separatist front in the buffer zone, Morocco sounded the alarm and warned against any attempt to change the status quo in the region, El Othmani said in a speech at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting.

The Kingdom totally and categorically rejects the separatists’ attempts to impose the fait accompli in this buffer zone and to introduce changes, be it civil, urban or military, he went on, noting that this position is based on international law and the conventions concluded thereon.

El Othmani expressed, in this regard, his disappointment about the continued violations of the separatist front in Guerguerat, stressing that Morocco, which has sounded the alarm about violations committed or possible ones in other regions, particularly in Tifariti and Bir Lahlou, has always ensured the strict application of the 1991 ceasefire agreement, which grants a special status to this region and makes it a buffer zone.

This zone remains, despite its special status, a Moroccan territory, said the head of government, indicating that the Kingdom had agreed, given the general context of the time, that this region be erected as a buffer zone to reduce tensions.

Regarding Morocco’s steps and reaction to the latest attempts by the separatists, he said that the message sent by HM King Mohammed VI to the UN Secretary-General is “clear, explicit and strong”.

Upon HM the King’s High Instructions, a global Moroccan diplomatic mobilization was launched to sound the alarm on the violations committed by the separatists, El Othmani noted.

Referring to the report submitted by the UN Secretary-General to the Security Council on the Sahara issue, the head of government said that “many of the rumors about the report are part of the media war against Morocco”.

The report is generally balanced, does justice to Morocco’s efforts and explicitly calls on separatist elements to withdraw from Guerguerat, he underlined.