Sahara: Madrid reiterates support to Morocco-proposed autonomy initiative

Spain has reiterated support to the Morocco-proposed autonomy initiative for the Sahara as was expressed in the joint statement adopted on 7 April 2022 during the meeting between King Mohammed VI and the President of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez.

This stand was expressed again in the joint statement issued at the end of the 12th session of the Morocco-Spain High-Level Meeting, held in Rabat Thursday Feb.2, 2023.

In the April 7 joint statement, Spain clearly said it considers the Moroccan autonomy initiative, presented in 2007, as “the most serious, realistic and credible basis for resolving the dispute over the Sahara.”

Madrid also recognizes in the April 2022 Statement, “the importance of the Sahara issue for Morocco as well as Morocco’s serious and credible efforts within the framework of the United Nations to find a mutually acceptable solution.”

In the joint statement issued at the end of the 12th session of the Morocco-Spain High-Level Meeting, held under the co-chairmanship of the heads of government, Aziz Akhannouch and Pedro Sanchez, the two countries also expressed commitment to perpetuate the excellent relations that have always linked them and reaffirmed their willingness to enrich them permanently.

In this sense, the two countries place their cooperation within the framework of the Treaty of Friendship, Neighborliness, Cooperation and Enhanced Political Dialogue, resulting from the Joint Statement of April 7, 2022, based on the principles of transparency, permanent dialogue, mutual respect and implementation of commitments and agreements signed by both parties, while addressing issues of common interest in a spirit of trust, far from unilateral actions or faits accomplis.

They also committed to promote trade and investment to implement joint projects in the framework of a win-win partnership.

“The two countries are committed to the promotion of trade and investment, for the implementation of joint development projects in the framework of a win-win partnership, taking advantage of the new Investment Charter that Morocco has promulgated, adapted to the institutional, economic, social and political transformations, and aimed at making the Kingdom an international destination for investment, offering real opportunities in strategic sectors,” said the Joint Statement.

Morocco and Spain noted with appreciation the remarkable evolution of their economic partnership, which has breathed new life into trade and agreed to renew the existing Financial Protocol by doubling the resources available to reach €800 million.

Reimbursable and non-reimbursable financial instruments will be used to support projects of priority interest to be developed by the Government of Morocco, particularly in infrastructure, renewable energy, water and sanitation, education and health facilities and productive sectors, the joint statement said.

The two countries stressed the importance of cooperation in economic decarbonization projects, which offer great potential for investors.

They also agreed on the need to further develop connectivity and facilitate mobility between the two countries, and welcomed their excellent collaboration in the field of water, reaffirming their resolve to further strengthen this cooperation, especially in desalination, integrated water resources management and wastewater reuse.

Recognizing the need to respond to the current climate emergency and the disastrous impacts of the summer of 2022, both countries reiterate their commitment to the Paris Agreement. They recognize the importance of fostering collaboration on climate change adaptation solutions and promoting effective prevention, anticipation and adaptation measures to increase drought resilience.

They will build on spaces already created with the International Drought Resilience Alliance to accelerate a more coordinated and collaborative global response and the World Meteorological Organization’s SOFF initiative to develop early warning systems.

About Khalid Al Mouahidi 4410 Articles
Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network