By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, Nov 1, 2012
The Moroccan daily Al Massae reported in its “Top Secret” section that Mohammed Cheikh Biadillah, president of the Assembly of Councilors is conducting a confidential diplomatic mission during his official visit to Australia.
Sources close to Al Massae confirm that Biadillah is scheduled to hold a secret meeting with a Polisario delegation chaired by Mohammed Abdel Aziz, leader of the Polisario.
The man chosen for this intricate mission, Mohammed Cheikh Biadillah, is an influential politician born in the South and fully cognizant of the conflict’s underpinnings. He was one of the founders of the Polisario in the early 1970’s.
The backdoor talks between Moroccan officials and their Polisario counterparts aim at outlining joint strategies to curb Al Qaeda’s expansion in the Maghreb.
Moroccan officials and the Polisario delegation are also reported to tackle the mechanisms of the Autonomy project in the Sahrawi region.
In April 2007, Morocco presented an Autonomy Plan that was described as “serious and credible” by the Security Council. The said plan proposes significant autonomy for the Sahara with a local government and a parliament, within the Moroccan sovereignty.
The threat of radical Islamists in Mali, now an Al Qaeda stronghold, has become imminent concern. The political unrest, low living standards and food crisis in Mali, boosted considerably Al Qaeda recruiting capacity among deprived Malians.
In a volatile region destabilized by the Arab spring uprising, Morocco has emerged as a highly strategic ally for the US and its allies.
This unprecedented meeting will be closely monitored by France and the US, both apprehensive about the threat of armed fundamentalists in the Sahel region.