FM: Autonomy, 'Only Way' to Settle Regional Dispute over Moroccan Sahara
The autonomy is the "one and only way" to reach a final solution to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, said minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nacer Bourita.
Several countries support the autonomy plan in the Moroccan Sahara, said the minister in an interview, published Friday by Moroccan French-speaking daily "The Economist", noting that since its presentation in 2007, the Moroccan autonomy initiative enjoys very broad support from the international community as a whole.
In this regard, Bourita pointed out that the UN Security Council has considered the autonomy initiative as a "serious and credible" proposal in its 12 successive resolutions, since 2007.
The Security Council also hailed Morocco's efforts to put an end to this regional dispute, he said, noting that a large number of countries supported, last month during the Fourth Committee of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, the autonomy initiative and the UN political process.
The minister also noted that prior to Morocco's submission of the autonomy plan, the Security Council's efforts to contribute to the resolution of this dispute were deadlocked after the failure and the burial of all previous plans.
"It is at the request of the Security Council and the international community that Morocco has presented the autonomy initiative, which is the basis of the current political process, carried out under the exclusive auspices of the United Nations," he said.
On the other hand, Bourita highlighted Morocco's excellent relations with UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, noting that they are marked by "mutual respect, trust, serenity and openness.”
"These cooperation ties are rooted in the objectives shared by HM King Mohammed VI and Guterres, to serve the ideals and purposes of the United Nations, notably the maintenance of international peace and security, economic, social and sustainable development, the emancipation of Africa and the common fight against the scourges of terrorism and extremism,” he said.
Bourita added that on all these issues, and of course on the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, the kingdom maintains, at all levels, a permanent dialogue and consultation with the secretary-general and the UN general secretariat.
The Kingdom also expressed to the personal envoy of the secretary-general for the Sahara, Horst Köhle, both after his appointment and during his visit to Rabat, its willingness and commitment to cooperate fully with him, within the framework of the implementation of his facilitation mandate, set out in Security Council resolutions since 2007, in order to achieve a political and negotiated solution to this artificial dispute, he noted.
Bourita also underlined that as a prelude to the autonomy, Morocco has taken important steps in the implementation of advanced regionalization in its southern provinces.
Furthermore, the Moroccan official stressed the crucial importance that Morocco attaches to Africa, its stability and development, noting that the Kingdom has become the first investor in Africa, through active and multifaceted South-South cooperation.