Two senior Belgian political leaders called on the EU to support Morocco’s autonomy proposal as a political, lasting and fair solution to the Sahara issue.
“We believe that the process of this dispute needs a new lease of life in order to put an end to destabilizing actions in the particularly strategic and dangerous Sahel-Saharan region. The future of Europe depends on stability in Africa, and most particularly in this important region, seen by many as the border of southern Europe. The Biden administration, well aware of the high stakes, does not appear to want to question the Moroccan character of the Sahara,” said Louis Michel, former Belgian Foreign Minister and Jacques Brotchi, Honorary president of the Belgian Senate, in a joint statement.
The two senior leaders recalled that diplomatic efforts, however laudable they may be, do not make it possible to unblock this frozen conflict between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Sahrawi separatists, supported by Algeria.
“The holding of a self-determination referendum by the UN seems to have been largely abandoned and is no longer addressed in UN texts,” they said.
They pointed out to the decline of Algeria and its support for the Polisario separatists saying that “support for such separatist movements, and their murderous tactics, whether in Europe, the Arab world, or in Africa is weakening, a welcome development that was largely confirmed during the Ministerial Conference in Support of the Autonomy Initiative under the Sovereignty of Morocco which was held on January 15 under the auspices of Morocco and the United States. On this occasion, the participants pledged ‘to plead for a solution based solely on the Moroccan Autonomy Initiative”.
“Now we can see that the world is moving slowly but surely towards the recognition of the sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara, a positive move for geographic, political and geo-strategic reasons,” they said in their statement that was relayed by several European websites, including “eubriefs.com”, “eupoliticalreport.eu”, and “eutoday.net”.
“It is high time for the European Union, as a global actor, to position itself on the world stage by promoting the resolution of the conflict because if Africa is unstable, Europe and the Middle East can follow suit. We all understand and accept that “security in Africa is a condition of European security”, and the Sahel and the Maghreb are vital regions for the sustainability and security of our continent,” the Belgian senior leaders said.
“Morocco, a privileged and reliable partner of the EU, a dynamic and forward-looking country, has now become a key regional actor in creating the conditions for a realistic, secure, lasting and effective political solution for Western Sahara. Since returning to the African Union Moroccan diplomacy has been particularly active, welcoming a number of African ministers on official visits. Its influence on the continent can be measured by the number of consulates opened (20 UN member states currently) since 2019 in the cities of Dakhla and Laayoune,” they added.