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On 42nd Anniversary of the Green March, King Mohammed VI Steadfast on Autonomy for the Western Sahara

Washington, DC, November 7, 2017 (MACP) — In a speech delivered yesterday commemorating the 42nd Anniversary of the Green March, King Mohammed VI stressed Morocco’s commitment to implementing the Autonomy Initiative in the Western Sahara, a compromise political solution advocated by the US and other UN Security Council members.

The King reiterated Morocco’s continued engagement with the United Nations process, but emphasized that that the Kingdom will adhere to its “firmly established principles” in doing so. These include “‘no’ to any solution to the Sahara question other than within the framework of Morocco’s full sovereignty over its Sahara and the Autonomy Initiative, which has been declared serious and credible by the international community,” and “outright rejection of any transgression or attempt to infringe on Morocco’s legitimate rights or its best interests; rejection of any obsolete proposals designed to divert the settlement process from the set terms of reference, or to introduce or impose other issues which are dealt with by other relevant bodies.”

Addressing Morocco’s commitment to the economic and political development of the territory, King Mohammed stated that the Kingdom “will not sit by and wait for the desired solution to be found. Instead, we will press ahead with our endeavors to promote development in our southern regions and offer our populations there freedom and dignity. In this regard, we shall continue to apply the development model specifically designed for these regions and seek, in parallel, to implement the advanced regionalization plan, which will enable the inhabitants of the region to run their own affairs democratically and to contribute to its development.”

US policy has long supported a solution to the Western Sahara based on a formula of autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty. Speaking at the adoption of the 2017 MINURSO resolution, Ambassador Michele Sison reaffirmed that the Trump Administration “continue[s] to view Morocco’s autonomy plan as serious, credible, and realistic” – continuing the policy of the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Administrations. The policy—and support for Morocco’s autonomy plan—has also been reiterated by bipartisan majorities of both the US House and Senate.

“Forty-two years ago, the Moroccan people took a courageous leap and were overjoyed at the liberation of their southern provinces from Spain. And Morocco took just as courageous a step some 30 years later in offering autonomy to the region. The US has endorsed the Moroccan initiative of autonomy within their sovereignty and now needs to do everything it can to make this initiative a reality,” said former US Ambassador to Morocco Edward M. Gabriel.

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ContactJordan Paul, 202.587.0855

The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a US-based independent non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform and educate opinion makers, government officials, and interested publics in the United States about the US-Morocco bilateral relationship.

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