Aziz Akhannouch at the UN General Assembly: here are Morocco’s constants on the Sahara issue

At the podium of the 77th UN General Assembly in New York, Aziz Akhannouch yesterday reaffirmed Morocco’s commitment to reach a definitive political solution to the artificial regional dispute over the Sahara, on the basis of the Moroccan initiative of autonomy, within the framework of national sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Kingdom.

“The Kingdom of Morocco reiterates its commitment to reach a definitive political settlement to the artificial regional conflict around the Moroccan Sahara, based on the Moroccan autonomy initiative, the only and unique solution to this dispute, and this within the framework of the territorial integrity and the national sovereignty of the Kingdom,” stressed Aziz Akhannouch, in the statement on behalf of Morocco at the 77e session of the UN General Assembly.

The Head of Government recalled that this “serious and realistic” initiative has enjoyed, since its presentation in 2007, the support of the Security Council and more than 90 countries.

“On the ground, the Southern Provinces live to the rhythm of an irreversible development dynamic, within the framework of the new development model launched by His Majesty King Mohammed VI in 2015”, Akhannouch also indicated, specifying that the populations of the region participate fully in all stages of the implementation of this ambitious model, through their democratically elected representatives in the Councils of the two regions of the Moroccan Sahara.

He also pointed out that the active participation of the populations of the Moroccan Sahara in all aspects of political, economic, social and cultural life testifies to their attachment to the territorial integrity of Morocco and to the Moroccanness of the Sahara.

The Head of Government also reiterated Morocco’s full support, as underlined in King Mohammed VI’s speech on the occasion of the 46e anniversary of the Green March, to the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy to relaunch the round table process in the same format and with the same participants, with a view to achieving a realistic and lasting political solution, based on the compromise, in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Councils, in particular that bearing the number 2602.

“Algeria’s participation, seriously and in good faith, in the round table process, in the same way as its proven responsibility in the creation and maintenance of this artificial dispute, is a condition sine qua non to reach a definitive settlement to this issue,” said Aziz Akhannouch.

Morocco has once again expressed its deep concern about the catastrophic humanitarian situation and the state of lawlessness experienced by the populations of the Tindouf camps, said the Head of Government, stressing that Algeria, in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, ceded its powers over this part of its territory to armed separatist militias with proven and confirmed links with dangerous terrorist networks in the Sahel region.

Aziz Akhannouch, in this context, reiterated Morocco’s appeal to the international community to encourage Algeria to respond to the calls of the Security Council launched since 2011, to allow the UN High Commission to the refugees to carry out the census and registration of the sequestered population in the Tindouf camps.

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