King Mohammed VI on Saturday reaffirmed Morocco’s adherence to a political settlement, under the aegis of the United Nations, to the issue of the Moroccan Sahara, whose Moroccanness “was – and never will be – on the negotiating table.”
“I also reiterate our commitment to a peaceful solution, our adherence to the ceasefire, and our intention to continue our coordination and cooperation with the MINURSO, within the remit of its specified mandate,” the Sovereign pointed out in a speech on the occasion of the 46th anniversary of the Green March.
The Monarch seized this occasion to reaffirm to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Guterres, and his Personal Envoy, Morocco’s full support for the efforts the UN Chief is making to reactivate the political process as soon as possible. The king stressed, in this regard, the need to abide by the frame of reference mentioned in the Security Council resolutions since 2007 and applied in the meetings held in Geneva under UN auspices.
The Sovereign noted that Morocco is negotiating in order to reach a peaceful solution to this artificial regional dispute. The Monarch, who underlined that the positive dynamic characterizing the evolution of Morocco’s national cause cannot be stopped, pointed out that the Moroccanness of the Sahara is an immutable and indisputable fact, be it on account of history, legitimacy, the strong will of the Moroccan people or broad recognition by the international community.
The king recalled that in recent months, there have been quiet, tangible developments in the defense of Morocco’s Saharan territories, praising, in this regard, the Royal Armed Forces which secured the freedom of movement of persons and goods at the Guerguerat crossing between Morocco and the sister nation of Mauritania, on 13 November 2020.
“That peaceful and nonetheless resolute action put an end to serious provocations and aggressions to which Morocco had drawn the attention of the international community, underscoring the risks those acts posed to security and stability in the region,” the Sovereign underlined.
While expressing his appreciation for the tangible and growing support the National Cause has received, the Monarch valued the sovereign decision of the United States of America, whereby it has recognized Morocco’s full sovereignty over its Sahara. “This is a natural consequence of the continuous support provided by previous US Administrations and an illustration of the United States’ constructive role in the settlement of this issue,” The king said.
“This trend reinforces the irreversible character of the political process for the achievement of a final solution, based on the autonomy initiative, within the framework of Moroccan sovereignty,” the Sovereign added. Moreover, the Monarch noted that the opening of consulates in the cities of Laayoune and Dakhla by more than 24 countries, particularly from the Arab world and Africa, confirms broad support for Morocco’s position.
This is the best legal and diplomatic answer to those who claim that the recognition of the Moroccanness of the Sahara is not explicit or tangible, The king stressed. “We believe we have every right, today, to expect bolder and clearer stances on the part of our partners regarding the territorial integrity of our country,” the Sovereign pointed out.
Such positions would not only contribute to bolstering the political course of action, but they would also support the efforts made to achieve a final, feasible solution, The king said.
The King also made it clear that Morocco will not have any economic or commercial transaction in which the Moroccan Sahara is not included with the sides that have ambiguous or ambivalent attitudes on the Kingdom’s territorial integrity.
“I wish to tell those with ambiguous or ambivalent attitudes, that Morocco will not have any economic or commercial transaction with them in which the Moroccan Sahara is not included,” the Sovereign pointed.
In this regard, the Monarch expressed his appreciation to the countries and groupings with which Morocco has agreements or partnerships, and which consider the Kingdom’s southern provinces an integral part of Morocco’s national territory. “We have honest international partners who invest, alongside our private sector, in a clear, transparent environment, for the benefit of the region’s populations,” the King said.
The positive developments with regard to the Sahara question also reinforce the continuing development process in the southern provinces, the Sovereign pointed out, adding that these territories are enjoying comprehensive development, including infrastructure as well as economic and social projects. “Thanks to these projects, the Saharan regions have become an open space for development and for national and foreign investment,” the Monarch stressed.
The King underlined that the councils in the Saharan provinces and regions – which, incidentally, were elected in a free, democratic and responsible manner – are the real, legitimate representatives of the region’s populations. “I hope our southern provinces will be at the forefront of the endeavor to implement advanced regionalization, given the possibilities it affords in terms of development and genuine political participation,” the Sovereign said.
The Sahara question is the quintessential part when it comes to the Kingdom’s national unity, the Monarch underlined, adding that it is the cause of all Moroccans. “That is why it requires everyone – each in his or her respective field of competence – to remain mobilized and vigilant in order to defend the nation’s unity and territorial integrity, and to promote the development as well as the political accomplishments made in our southern provinces,” the King said.