On the set of the program “Les Grandes Gueules Moyen-Orient”, on the i24 channel, a debate around France’s position on the question of the Sahara in Morocco made French politicians react. From Jean Messiha to Roger Karoutchi, we don’t mince words.
“Quicksand for France, the Sahara?”. This is the question answered by Jean Messiha, French politician and polemicist, on the set of the program The Big Guess Middle Eastbroadcast on September 20, 2022 on the i24 television channel.
“This question of the Sahara and the Polisario is in fact an Algerian invention, which is moreover quite cheeky on the part of a country, Algeria, which inherited an immense territory thanks to the colonization on which he has rights, and in particular energy rights, because these territories are very rich”, declares the politician.
And to continue, “the Sahara is Moroccan by virtue of its population since indeed the 500,000 people who live in Western Sahara, almost all of them are Moroccans who settled there after 1976”.
According to the polemicist, “there is no reason today – given the historical, geographical and political reasons – and since Morocco is a friend of France, that France should not recognize this Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara! “.
“I don’t understand why the French government is procrastinating. And if it’s just for a question of gas, as General de Gaulle said, the policy of France is not done in the trash”, he concludes, taking up this formula used to denounce the influence or the interference of the financial community in state policy.
This intervention by Jean Messiha follows the equally strong position of Roger Karoutchi, first vice-president of the Senate in France, in this same television program, two days earlier.
For his part, Roger Karoutchi thus returns in “Le grand oral” of the show The Big Guess Middle Easton his reaction to Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Algeria.
“It had been presented, not only in France, but also in Morocco and in other countries, as a rapprochement that could be made against Morocco, since, as everyone knows, the Algerian position is not at all the same, it is the least that one can say, than that of Morocco on the Sahara”, explains Roger Karoutchi.
And the first vice-president of the Senate to warn France, by declaring “be careful, we do not treat those who are our permanent friends correctly, and the Kingdom of Morocco is in permanent contact with France, in particular on the services of intelligence, in matters of terrorism”.
In the eyes of the politician, this trip to Algeria by the French president, even though France does not take a position for Morocco on the question of the Sahara, seems to him “a little unequal”.
However, he explains that he “clearly asked, requested, desired”, that French policy towards Morocco “be more balanced”, all the more so, he justifies, that certain European countries, “in particular the Germany, which has no special historical ties with Morocco, except for an attempt at German control over Morocco at the beginning of the 20th century.e century, but which did not last”, recognizes the Moroccan position on the Sahara… “It is a little embarrassing, vexing that France is not on an identical position”, thus estimates Roger Karoutchi.
And for good reason, he judges, it is the position today, “increasingly widely recognized”, whether by the United States and by several Europeans, “but not by France, which defines itself as the main friend, the main ally of the Kingdom of Morocco”, he laments.
However, argues Roger Karoutchi, “when you are the main friend and the main ally of the Kingdom of Morocco, you make sure that it is not all the other States which pass in front of you to be those which recognize the benefits of the Moroccan position “.
Positions taken in favor of the autonomy process proposed by Morocco which are shared by Yves Derai, editor-in-chief of the magazine Forbesalso present on the set of the show on September 20.
On the side of Internet users, the same story. Indeed, responding online, on the i24 social networks, to a survey, they are, for the time being, 87% to respond favorably on Twitter to the question “Should France recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara?”