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Thursday 28 January 2021

US Recognition of Morocco’s Sovereignty over Sahara Makes it Possible to Move Forward Towards ‘Lasting’ Settlement: Former French Minister

US Recognition of Morocco’s Sovereignty over Sahara Makes it Possible to Move Forward Towards ‘Lasti

The U.S. recognition of the Moroccanness of the Sahara makes it possible to move forward towards a "lasting" settlement of the Sahara issue, said Thursday French MP and former Speaker of the French National Assembly, François De Rugy.

"The U.S. proclamation makes it possible to move forward towards a lasting settlement of this situation,” the former minister of ecology underlined in an interview with MAP.

The U.S. recognition also makes it possible to "go gradually, with international bodies but also with the commitment of countries", towards a solution to this dispute which has lasted too long, he added.

In this regard, he deemed as "very important" the American commitment which constitutes a "good thing for Morocco obviously, but also for all the partners of Morocco, including France ".

De Rugy said that France and the European Union "could study the fact of engaging in the same direction", calling not to "underestimate the resistance that may exist including within the 'EU but also among Morocco's neighbors ".

This resistance "should not prevent progress towards a lasting normalization of the situation in the Sahara", he stressed.

A greater commitment from France, he believes, will "consolidate Morocco as a leading country in the Maghreb and Africa in the areas of economic modernization, political stability and commitment to very strong issues such as the climate".

"I believe that it would be a good thing to go in this direction", the French MP said, adding that in terms of regional security and stability, an evolution in the positioning of France, strongly committed in the fight against jihadist groups in the Sahel, and its partners, "would help to consolidate Morocco's contribution to the stabilization of the region".

"During my various functions, I was able to measure the positive role that Morocco played beyond its immediate neighbors, in particular West Africa, including in the field of training and support for security forces, defense, of several countries for which the structuring of the security and defense forces is a very serious issue, particularly in countries close to the Sahel and which are today subject to threats of destabilization from jihadist groups," De Rugy pointed out.

"So it is sure that this would help to strengthen Morocco's contribution to the stabilization of the region," he said.

The French MP also commended the importance of renewing diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel, which is a "good thing" for the Middle East, the Mediterranean basin and the Mediterranean world.

"France and Morocco also have in common the large Mediterranean basin and both countries obviously have an interest in the improvement of the situation and the stability of this space where we have common issues", noted the former minister.

MAP 28 January 2021