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Morocco: Autonomy initiative is best for the Western Sahara people

RABAT, MOROCCO - MARCH 29: Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita holds joint press conference with his counterpart US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not seen) after their meeting in Rabat, Morocco on March 29, 2022. ( Jalal Morchidi - Anadolu Agency
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita holds joint press conference in Rabat, Morocco on March 29, 2022 [Jalal Morchidi - Anadolu Agency]

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said that the view adopted by a group of European countries and others that the autonomy initiative is the basis for a solution to the issue of the Sahara region does not contradict international efforts.

This came in a press conference with his German counterpart, Annalina Baerbock, yesterday on the margins of her two-day visit to Morocco, Bourita said: "When a group of European countries and other countries support and consider the autonomy initiative as a basis for resolving the Sahara issue, it does not contradict the efforts of the United Nations and Security Council resolutions, but rather reinforces that and pushes towards this solution."

Regarding High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, Josep Borrell's statement that it is necessary to "consult" with the Sahrawis, Bourita said: "There was a kind of regret for this statement because it did not reflect the Spanish position or the European position on the Sahara issue."

READ: Anger in Algeria after calls for Moroccans to advance towards Tindouf

Borrell had pointed out that "the position of the Spanish government was and remains the position of the European Union. Which means to defend the holding of consultations so that the Sahrawi people are the ones who decide how they want their future to be."

Rabat proposes expanded autonomy in the Sahara region under its sovereignty, while the Polisario Front calls for holding a referendum for self-determination, a proposal supported by Algeria, which hosts refugees from the region.

In March, Spain changed its stance towards the Western Sahara and announced its support for the Moroccan initiative on this region.

In the message Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that Morocco's autonomy initiative for Western Sahara is "the most serious, realistic and credible" solution to the lengthy dispute.

This led to neighbouring Algeria ending its 20-year-old cooperation treaty with Spain.

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