Nouakchott — Sahrawi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ould Salek affirmed that the 31st Summit of the African Union Heads of State and Government was a turning point in the handling of the Sahrawi issue, stressing that the summit marked " the beginning of the countdown" for Morocco.
In an interview granted Wednesday, in Nouakchott, to the Sahrawi radio, Ould Salek said that "the summit was a turning point in the handling of the Sahrawi issue for the African continent," pointing out that "the Organization of the African Union (OAU) was the initiator of the peaceful solution, based on the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination in 1983 when the Africans agreed that it was a decolonization issue."
Ould Salek said that the consensus of the African leaders on the need to allow the Sahrawi people to exercise their right to self-determination was the catalyst of the United Nations mechanisms to find a solution to the Sahrawi issue, condemning Morocco' s hindrance to the organization of a referendum on self-determination of the Sahrawi people for 27 years, arousing a serious concern among the African leaders."
"Nouakchott Summit marked the beginning of the countdown for the Moroccan occupation," he added, arguing that "the presence in Nouakchott of Morocco by the side of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) announces the end of the era of colonialism and empires and consequently the end of the colonialism rejected by the Sahrawi people and the international community."
Concerning the creation of the presidential commission on the issue of Western Sahara, Ould Salek said that his main mission consisted in opening up the way for negotiations between the two member States to reach a consensus on the basis of the African Union's position and also AU's constitutive act, pointing out the Sahrawi State's readiness for dialogue on the basis of principles and charters relating the Sahrawi issue. SPS