20 August 2017

Morocco: Sahara - 2017, Year of Clarity and Return to Standards and Principles, Royal Speech

Tetouan — 2017 has been the year of clarity and of a return to the standards and principles for the settlement of the artificial dispute over the Moroccanness of the Sahara, said HM King Mohammed VI, adding that this firm, unambiguous policy has helped put the process back on the right track, thereby halting the plots designed to divert it into the unknown.

"Whereas 2016 was the year of resolve and intransigence, during which we matched action with words to thwart the schemes designed to impinge on our rights, 2017 has been the year of clarity and of a return to the standards and principles for the settlement of the artificial dispute over the Moroccanness of the Sahara," said the sovereign on Sunday in a speech delivered to the Nation on the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People.

"This firm, unambiguous policy has helped put the process back on the right track, thereby halting the plots designed to divert it into the unknown," said His Majesty, noting that this was confirmed by the UN Secretary-General's report as well as the Security Council resolution adopted last April, be it in terms of commitment to the frame of reference for a settlement, the appreciation of the autonomy proposal as a negotiating framework, or the determination of the legal and political responsibilities of the real party concerned in this regional dispute.

HM the King underlined that the "proactive, composed and firm manner in which we settled the Guerguerat crisis thwarted the efforts to change the facts on the ground in our Sahara and helped put to rest the myth of the 'liberated territories' peddled by Morocco's enemies."

In parallel with these developments, international support for the autonomy proposal has continued, as illustrated by the growing number of states which have withdrawn their recognition of the fictional entity and by the legal settlement concerning Morocco's economic partnership with a number of influential powers, HM the King said.

Affirming that the 20th August Revolution is more than just a landmark event in Morocco's history, it is an event that reverberated across the Maghreb and the rest of Africa as well, HM the King stressed the need to draw inspiration today from the values of sacrifice, loyalty and generosity underpinning that event so as to continue to be torchbearers of that revolution, domestically and continentally.

By upholding those values and principles and promoting collective action, we shall be able to rise to the intricate challenges we are facing and thus achieve comprehensive development and enhance the security and stability the peoples in the region are yearning for, the sovereign said.

HM the King praised, in this respect, the serious work and effective action undertaken by the Moroccan diplomatic service to defend the country's best interests, enhance its credibility and increase its influence at the regional, continental and international levels.

In this speech, HM the King remembered, with reverence and emotion, the anniversary of the Royal family's exile in Madagascar - a country which the sovereign visited last year.

"I saw the sincerity of the Malgasy people's esteem and affection for the Royal family. There were emotional memories and recollections of human bonds with members of the Royal family, despite the hardships of exile and of life so far away from the homeland," said the sovereign.

"It is with deep reverence that I wish to honor the memory of our esteemed martyrs, particularly my beloved grandfather, His Majesty King Mohammed V, and his comrade-in-arms, my revered father, His Majesty King Hassan II. May they rest in peace," HM the King concluded.

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