6 November 2012

Morocco: HM the King Reaffirms Morocco's Willingness to Advance Settlement of Sahara Issue

Rabat  — HM King Mohammed VI has reaffirmed Morocco's keen desire to advance to process of final settlement of the Moroccan Sahara issue notwithstanding the other parties' failed attempts and persistent obstructionist schemes and maneuvers, on the basis of the criteria and objectives defined by the Security Council and confirmed by the UN Secretary-General.

In a speech to the nation, on Tuesday, on the thirty-seventh anniversary of the glorious Green March, the Sovereign insisted that the pertinent initiative designed to give the Moroccan Sahara autonomous status within the framework of the Kingdom's sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity was a watershed in the search for a final settlement to this regional artificial dispute.

The initiative grants all the region's populations extensive management of their local affairs and respects the said populations' specific cultural features, the Monarch said.

Yet, "because of the other parties' lack of goodwill and persistent obstructionist schemes and maneuvers," the momentum created by this bold initiative through the fresh round of negotiations it triggered has not, so far, led to the desired final and mutually acceptable political solution, the Sovereign continued.

In this connection, HM the King reiterated the Kingdom's compliance with the criteria that ought to be observed when seeking a settlement, particularly the need to be realistic and to uphold the spirit of compromise, such as embodied by the Moroccan autonomy initiative, which has been garnering growing international support.

The Sovereign recalled the clear position recently stated by the UN Secretary-General, which stresses that in addition to pursuing the negotiating track, one of the missions of the United Nations Organization is to promote Moroccan-Algerian relations, the normalization of which Morocco has been calling for, including the opening of borders, a request that has also been made by a number of countries and international organizations.

HM the King also called upon the international community "to endeavor to put an end to the suffering endured by our citizens in Tindouf, on Algerian soil, where some of the most hideous forms of repression, oppression, despair and deprivation prevail, in gross violation of the most basic human rights."

Reiterating Morocco's resolve not to allow, under any circumstances, the fate of the Sahara to be determined by the other parties' schemes and failed maneuvers, HM the King reaffirmed commitment to "forge ahead with the development and modernization process in our Sahara with even greater resolve and hard work."

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