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Date of posting : November 6, 2018

Nasser Bourita: Morocco’s Territorial Integrity is Not Negotiable 

 Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, reaffirmed, in an interview with French newspaper ‘Le Monde’, Morocco’s unwavering commitment to its territorial integrity and its refusal to accept any solution that might call it into question.
“Some things are not negotiable for Morocco, namely any solution that would call into question the territorial integrity of the Kingdom or that would provide for a referendum option,” the minister stressed, referring to the round table, to be held on December 5-6 in Geneva.

Bourita said that he expects the December round to be different from the previous ones in terms of format: that there would be no distinction between participants, that each of the actors – Morocco, polisario front, Algeria, Mauritania – would be put on the same level as the others, but also on the agenda: that there would be more realism and compromise, less rhetoric.

As for the UN Security Council’s extension of MINURSO’s mandate for six months, the minister pointed out that “the debate on the duration of the renewal is a false debate”. “It is not the duration that is important, but the political process that is independent of the peacekeeping operation,” he said.

Asked about his meeting last Wednesday in Celle-Saint-Cloud (west of Paris) with the French minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Bourita said that it was an opportunity to “prepare several bilateral events, including a forthcoming visit by president of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, to Morocco, which will take place later this month”.

Regarding the issue of immigration, Bourita stressed that “from the outset, Morocco’s migration policy has been based on three pillars: solidarity, responsibility and international cooperation”.

“In 2013, we launched a major regularization process. While in Europe governments pass the buck by saying to each other, +I took 100, you have to take 300+, we, a developing country, have processed 50,000 requests for regularization in three years, 90% of which have been satisfied,” he recalled.

In response to a question about “EU financial assistance to Morocco for border control”, Bourita replied that “an offer has been made by Europe, but these are the first discussions”. “However, we are far from what has been demanded by some countries,” he pointed out, underlining that Morocco “is not in a policy of blackmail, such as +I am your gendarme, how much you pay me? +”.

Morocco “has its own migration policy and intends to be faithful to it. We believe that transit countries should not be at the heart of policy. All countries of origin, transit and destination should assume their responsibilities, he said.