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The 40th Anniversary of the Green March

Moroccan minister announces package of actions to promote Sahara local Hassani culture

   Moroccan Communication minister, Mustapha El Khalfi, announced on Monday in Laayoune a package of activities and programs to promote the local Sahara Hassani culture, in keeping with HM the King's instructions for the respect of the Southern provinces' cultural specificities.

   "Those projects are meant to promote the Hassani cultural identity and reflect the trust, fairness, faithfulness and commitment to reinforce the Southern provinces' presence in the national cultural fabric", said El Khalfi at a meeting to present his department's activities and programs to mark the 40th anniversary of the Green March. 

     He also highlighted the joyous atmosphere of the Green march anniversary celebrations in which HM the King visited Laayoune and launched a series of projects worth 77 billion DH in the region. 

    The Minister also noted that a group of 140 journalists from several countries were present in Laayoune to report first hand on the realities in these provinces and bring flat denials to the propaganda of the enemies. 

   In this context, a photo exhibition of rare pictures of the green march was held while a national Internet portal on the Sahara was launched to carry information on the history, present, culture, social- economic conditions and development in the Sahara in six languages. 

     During the meeting, the minister also presented a set of 19 books on the Sahara published over the last 40 years in Arabic, French, English and Spanish as well as 15 patriotic songs on the Sahara.

The communication department further plans to open two regional delegations of the Moroccan office of copyright.

 

The minister, who is spokesman of the government, presented the "press tent" concept, a socio-cultural center for media professionals in the region. 

MAP 10 November 2015

HM the King: Morocco to Face up to All Attempts to Challenge Legal Status of Moroccan Sahara

  HM King Mohammed VI on Friday stressed that Morocco will face up to all attempts that seek to cast doubts on the legal status of the Moroccan Sahara or question our country’s right to exercise its powers and prerogatives fully on its land, in the southern provinces, just as it does in the northern part of the country.

   "Morocco rejects any foolish, adventurous course of action that could have serious consequences, as well as any useless, unworkable proposal whose only aim is to undermine the positive momentum created by the Autonomy Initiative", the Sovereign stressed in a speech to the Nation on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Green March.

   HM the King also warned that the Kingdom will also confront hostile campaigns against Moroccan products, "building on the same spirit of sacrifice and commitment demonstrated in the political and security sectors to defend its unity and immutable values".

   "As for those who want to boycott our products, in blatant violation of international law, let them do so. However, they will have to assume the responsibilities for their decisions", the Monarch warned, noting that Morocco has the right to invite its partners - states as well as global companies - to benefit from the investment opportunities to be created in the region, thanks to the large-scale projects that will be launched.

   "Just as we make no distinction between the northern and the southern parts of Morocco, we see no difference between tomatoes from Agadir and those from Dakhla, sardines from Larache and those from Boujdour, phosphates from Khouribga and those from Boucraa - even though the latter represent less than 2% of our national reserves, as confirmed by universally recognized data", the Sovereign said, pledging to "face up to all attempts that seek to cast doubts on the legal status of the Moroccan Sahara or question our country’s right to exercise its powers and prerogatives fully on its land, in the southern provinces, just as it does in the northern part of the country".

   For HM the King, all efforts must be stepped up efforts while vigilance and full mobilization shall never waver to make our just cause better known, to shine a spotlight on the progress our country is making and to confront our enemies’ schemes.

   Recalling the Autonomy Initiative for the Southern Provinces, which was judged by the international community as both serious and credible, the Monarch stressed that this Initiative is "the most Morocco can offer".

   The Sovereign pointed out that its implementation will hinge on achieving a final political settlement within the framework of the United Nations Organization.

   "Those who are waiting for any other concession on Morocco’s part are deceiving themselves. Indeed, Morocco has given all there was to give. It has given of its sons’ blood to defend the Sahara", HM the King said, denouncing the position of some international and non-governmental organizations that "have no right to meddle in our affairs" and "do not know Morocco’s history and seek to come up with scenarios which are hatched in air-conditioned offices, are far removed from reality and are presented as proposals for the settlement of the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara".

   The Monarch, who recalled that the Sahara question is not the first issue Morocco has faced in its history, noted that whenever it faces a difficult situation, Morocco invariably comes out strong and united, with its head held high.

   "This is because Moroccans deeply believe in their common destiny, defend their immutable values and territorial integrity and are fully committed to the close bond and cohesion between the throne and the people", the Sovereign said, stressing the need to promote development in our southern provinces, to safeguard the dignity of the sons and daughters of those provinces and to defend the country’s territorial integrity, in keeping with the same spirit of commitment and sacrifice which characterized the Green March.

 

   "This would be the best token of loyalty to the architect of the Green March, my revered father His Late Majesty King Hassan II - may he rest in peace - and to the memory of the nation’s glorious martyrs", HM the King concluded.

MAP 06 November 2015

Unlike Inhabitants of Southern Provinces, People in Tindouf Continue to Suffer From Poverty, Despair (Royal Speech)

  HM King Mohammed VI underlined that while the people in Tindouf, in Algeria, continue to suffer from poverty and despair, Morocco is pressing ahead with the development of its southern provinces.

   In a speech to the Nation on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Green March, the Sovereign affirmed that the development model of the southern provinces aims to "seal these provinces’ integration into the unified homeland and to enhance the influence of the Sahara region as an economic hub and a crucial link between Morocco and its African roots".

   "On the other hand, the people in Tindouf, in Algeria, continue to suffer from poverty, despair, deprivation and the systematic violation of their basic rights", HM the King said.

   The Monarch wondered: "Where have the millions of dollars of humanitarian aid gone - more than 60 million Euros a year - not to mention the billions of Euros spent on the separatists' armament, propaganda and repression apparatus?"

   How can one explain the fact that the separatists’ leaders are obscenely rich and have real estate and bank accounts in Europe and Latin America and why has not Algeria done anything to improve the living conditions of the Tindouf camp population, which is 40,000 at the very most – i.e. the equivalent of the population of a medium-sized neighborhood in Algiers?, the Sovereign wondered.

   This means that for forty years Algeria could not - or did not want to - build 6,000 housing units to safeguard their dignity, that is an average of 150 housing units a year, HM the King pointed out.

   Why does Algeria - which has spent billions on its military and diplomatic war against Morocco - let the Tindouf inhabitants live in such appalling, inhuman conditions? the Sovereign also wondered, noting that History is going to judge those who have turned the free, respectable sons and daughters of the Sahara into beggars of humanitarian aid and will bear witness to the fact that they have exploited the tragedy of a group of Saharan women and children, turning them into war booty and using them not only for illegal commercial exploitation, but also as a tool for diplomatic dispute.

   The Monarch announced that the southern provinces will see large-scale infrastructure projects, as the road network in the region will be enhanced, and a dual carriageway complying with international standards will be built to link Tiznit, Laayoun and Dakhla.  

   In this respect, HM the King called on the Government to think about setting up hub airports in the Southern Provinces to serve African destinations, while examining the construction of a rail link between Tangier and Lagouira to connect Morocco with the rest of Africa.

   The Sovereign announced plans to build the Great Dakhla Atlantic Port, implement major solar and wind energy projects in the south and connect Dakhla to the national electricity network.

  The Monarch also said that an economic development fund will be set up to expand the economic fabric, support businesses and the social economy, generate steady income and create jobs, particularly for young people.

   All these projects will be implemented to support the region's economy and allow the inhabitants of southern regions to have the necessary means to enable them to manage their own affairs and show they are capable of developing their region, the Sovereign pointed out.

MAP 06 November 2015

HM the King: Program-Contracts to Be Concluded Between Central Government and Regions for Advanced Regionalization Implementation

 To make sure the Southern Provinces are front and center of the implementation of advanced regionalization, a series of program-contracts will be concluded between the central government and the regions, HM King Mohammed VI announced.

   "These program-contracts will determine each party’s obligations regarding the execution of development projects", the Sovereign stressed in a speech to the Nation on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Green March.

   In this respect, HM the King called on the government to speed up the adoption of legislative texts on devolution and support that with the transfer of qualified human resources and funds, with a view to replicating that experience in the Kingdom’s other regions. 

   The Monarch also called for speeding up the preparation of a real charter for administrative devolution that gives regional departments and agencies the prerogatives needed to run the region’s affairs at the local level.

    The Sovereign further insisted on the need to ensure citizen participation through platforms and mechanisms for permanent dialogue and consultation so that the citizens may fully subscribe to programs and be involved in their implementation.

   "I therefore expect the inhabitants of our southern provinces and their representatives to live up to their responsibilities, now that we have set in place the institutional and development-related mechanisms for them to manage their affairs and cater for their needs", HM the King affirmed.

   The legitimacy which was democratically conferred by the citizens upon the officials who were elected in the region makes them the true representatives of the inhabitants of the southern provinces vis-à-vis national institutions as well as the international community, the Monarch stressed, recalling that the implementation of advanced regionalization bolsters Morocco’s credibility and shows our country honors its commitments.

   "When Morocco promises something, it delivers in both word and deed. Our country makes no commitment it cannot honor", the Sovereign said, recalling that Morocco promised to implement advanced regionalization. Today, advanced regionalization is indeed a reality on the ground, with its institutions and its prerogatives

   "Therefore, we wish to send out a message to the world: Unlike others, we, in Morocco, use no empty slogans nor do we sell illusions. When we commit to something, we honor our commitment, and we implement things on the ground", HM the King stressed.

   "By starting to implement advanced regionalization and adopting a development model, Morocco wishes to increase the chances of finding a lasting solution to the artificial dispute over our territorial integrity", the Monarch underlined.

   "Because it believes its cause is a just one, it reacted positively in 2007 to the call of the international community and came up with proposals to find a way out of the impasse", the Sovereign recalled, adding in this respect that the kingdom has proposed the Autonomy Initiative for the Southern Provinces, which was judged by the international community as both serious and credible.

   "As I pointed out last year in my address commemorating the anniversary of the Green March, the Initiative is the most Morocco can offer. Its implementation will hinge on achieving a final political settlement within the framework of the United Nations Organization", HM the King pointed out.

   "Those who are waiting for any other concession on Morocco’s part are deceiving themselves. Indeed, Morocco has given all there was to give. It has given of its sons’ blood to defend the Sahara", the Monarch insisted.

   In this regard, the Sovereign affirmed that "Morocco rejects any foolish, adventurous course of action that could have serious consequences, as well as any useless, unworkable proposal whose only aim is to undermine the positive momentum created by the Autonomy Initiative".

MAP 06 November 2015

 

HM the King Calls for Radical Break with Manner in Which Sahara Issues Have Been handled

  HM King Mohammed VI on Friday called for making a radical break with the manner in which Sahara issues have been dealt with so far.

HM the King Calls for Radical Break with Manner in Which Sahara Issues Have Been handled

   "Today, 40 years after the Green March, and regardless of the advantages and the downsides, we want to make a radical break with the manner in which Sahara issues have been dealt with so far: a break with the rentier economy and privileges, a break with poor private sector involvement and a break with the mentality of centralized administration", the Sovereign stressed in a speech to the Nation on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Green March.

   After years of sacrifice and political and development-oriented efforts, Morocco has reached maturity, HM the King underlined, adding that conditions are now ripe for the dawn of a new era in the process to consolidate national unity and achieve full integration of our southern provinces into the motherland.

    The implementation of the Development Model for the Southern Provinces and the application of advanced regionalization are part of that process, the Monarch pointed out.

   "I am keen to make sure we provide our fellow citizens in the southern provinces with all the necessary means to enable them to manage their own affairs and show they are capable of developing their region", the Sovereign said, recalling that the kingdom has made sure the inhabitants of those provinces enjoy a free and dignified life.

   "From time immemorial, the Saharan populations have been known as scholars and seasoned tradespeople. They have always earned their living by the sweat of their brow and lived with dignity and pride. They do not expect assistance from anyone, despite their harsh living conditions", HM the King said, stressing "I am talking about the true Sahrawis, the genuine patriots who have remained committed to the bond of allegiance which has always existed between their forefathers and Moroccan monarchs".

   However, the Monarch affirmed that as "for the few people who are get carried away by the views of our enemies and who champion them, there is no place for them among us. However, the homeland is most forgiving and magnanimous towards those who come to their senses and repent".

MAP 06 November 2015

HM the King Commits to Muster All Means to Implement Major Projects in Southern Provinces

  HM King Mohammed VI on Friday pledged that that all the means available will be mustered to implement a number of major projects as well as social, medical and educational programs in the southern regions of the kingdom.

   "The implementation of the Development Model for the Southern Provinces shows how committed we are to fulfilling our obligations towards our fellow citizens in these provinces, which will thus become a model of integrated development", the Sovereign stressed in a speech to the Nation on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Green March.

   This Development Model aims to "seal these provinces’ integration into the unified homeland and to enhance the influence of the Sahara region as an economic hub and a crucial link between Morocco and its African roots", HM the King pointed out.

   "I have therefore decided to muster all the means available, by the grace of the Almighty, to implement a number of major projects as well as social, medical and educational programs in the regions of Laayoune-Saqia el-Hamra, Dakhla-Oued Eddahab and Guelmim-Oued Noon", the Monarch said.

   As regards infrastructure, the Sovereign announced that the road network in the region will be enhanced, and a dual carriageway complying with international standards will be built to link Tiznit, Laayoun and Dakhla.

   In this respect, HM the King called the government to mull setting up hub airports in the Southern Provinces to serve African destinations.

   The Monarch also expressed His ambitions to see a rail link between Tangier and Lagouira to connect Morocco with the rest of Africa. "I pray that Almighty God assist us in securing the funds we need today to complete the Marrakech-Lagouira line."

   "We also intend to build the Great Dakhla Atlantic Port, implement major solar and wind energy projects in the south and connect Dakhla to the national electricity network", the Sovereign added.

   HM the King also expressed His ambition to link these networks and infrastructure to African countries, thereby contributing to their development.

   Stressing that infrastructure, on its own, cannot improve the citizens’ living conditions, the Monarch noted that the kingdom will press ahead with economic development and support that process with human development projects.

   "I should like to stress, in this connection, that revenue from natural resources will continue to be invested in the region, for the benefit of the local populations and in consultation and coordination with them", the Sovereign said, adding that several projects for the use and promotion of local resources and products will be implemented, including the major seawater desalination plant in Dakhla and the establishment of industrial zones and facilities in Laayoun, El Marsa and Boujdour.

   To support these initiatives, an investment-friendly legal framework will be instituted, in which the conditions for clarity and competitiveness are met for both national and foreign investors so they may contribute to development in the region, HM the King said, adding that an economic development fund will be set up to expand the economic fabric, support businesses and the social economy, generate steady income and create jobs, particularly for young people.

MAP 06 November 2015

Green March, one of most brilliant and strategic acts in 20th century, Lincoln Diaz-Balart

  The Green March was one of the most brilliant and strategic acts in the 20th century as it has allowed to recover a territory which has been always an integral part of Morocco and it did it peacefully in an admirable way, former US congressman and president of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Lincoln Diaz-Balart told MAP.

The whole nation was united behind the sovereign, late king Hassan II, to carry out this unprecedented act which is among the most brilliant and strategic acts in the 20th century, said Diaz-Balart who added that he was impressed by the huge strides made in the southern provinces in terms of development, under the leadership of HM King Mohammed VI.

 These achievements prove, if necessary, that this part of the Kingdom and the well-being of its Sahrawi populations are a top priority for the sovereign, he said, adding that this royal solicitude is a tangible reality which we can observe on the field through the obvious amelioration of the populations' living conditions and the implementation of large-scale structuring projects.

 

 Lincoln Diaz-Balart underlined that the autonomy plan in the Sahara, under the Moroccan sovereignty, was supported by the three US administrations of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

MAP 05 November 2015

Green March, ingenious idea which turned Sahara into large-scale development project, Dignitaries of Sahrawi tribes

  The Green March, which is an unequivocal example of Late King Hassan II's ingenuity, turned the Moroccan Sahara into an open large-scale project to achieve sustainable development in this region, said, on Thursday in Laayoune, dignitaries of Sahrawi tribes.

In statements to MAP on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Green March, the chiefs of Sahrawi tribes lauded the far-reaching mutations and accomplishments taking place in the Moroccan Sahara since the recovery of this Moroccan territory forty years ago thanks to the incomparable wisdom and genius of Late King Hassan II.

 In this regard, Chief of the Ait Lahcen Tribe Salhi Abdellah said that, four decades after this unforgettable event, the Sahrawi population is still feeling the same pride to commemorate a peaceful march which brought the Moroccan people together to defend the Kingdom's territorial integrity.

 In the same vein, Chief of the Ait Baamrane tribes Abdellah Ould Hameyada underlined that the Green March earned the esteem of the international community given the fact that this event took place in peace and with no bloodshed.

 For his part, Chief of the Rguibate Laayaycha tribe Ould Salam Ould Ennafaa stressed that the Green march was the embodiment of the genius of Late King Hassan II, noting that it was the first episode in a long process of development which brought the Moroccan southern provinces to the level of their northern counterparts.

 

 Echoing him, Chief of the Filala tribe Boubker Sidi Mohamed highlighted the pride and happiness of the southern populations on the occasion of this symbolic anniversary, reiterating the attachment of the Sahrawi populations to the glorious Alawite throne.

 

MAP 05 November 2015

 

Morocco's Autonomy Plan Remains 'Best Solution' to Sahara Conflict, Says Erik Jensen

 The autonomy plan presented by Morocco remains "the best solution" to the Sahara conflict, stressed Erik Jensen, former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for the Sahara.

   The Moroccan Initiative was developed to find a "realistic and feasible political solution" to the Sahara issue, Jensen told MAP following the screening, Monday night in the British Parliament, of the documentary "Identity of a Front"m directed by Hassan El Bouharrouti.

   He noted that the autonomy plan is in line with the advanced regionalization project initiated by the Kingdom, underlining the need to find "a political solution as soon as possible to this problem which has lasted fat too long".

   The former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for the Sahara also warned against the negative impact of the blockage in the current international situation marked by the terrorist threats in the Maghreb and the Sahel region, in addition to the challenges and upheavals driven by the Arab Spring.

MAP 03 November 2015

 

Morocco's Historical Rights to Sahara Are Indisputable, Says French Expert

   Morocco's historical rights to its Sahara are indisputable as for more than twelve centuries, the Kingdom has been the only State between the Mediterranean and the Senegal River, French expert Charles Saint-Prot said.

   "There has never been a Sahrawi nation, not even people but often mixed - Berber and Arabic - tribes that have pledged allegiance to the Sultan of Morocco", he noted in an article published in the latest newsletter of the Observatory of Geopolitical Studies (OEG), adding that many founders of these tribes were from the north of Draa River.

   The authority of the Moroccan State has been from Tangier to the Senegal's river, but Morocco was, in the late 19th century and early 20th century, victim of the divisions made by colonial powers, Saint-Prot said, noting that before colonization and even until the early 1970s, all the powers regarded the Sahara as part of Morocco.

 

   "The separatist conspiracy was conceived in the 1970s by Algeria and the Communist bloc", he said, pointing out that the Sahara issue is only the consequence of an anti-Moroccan policy which started as of the independence of Algeria.

MAP 02 November 2015