New York - Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, said in an exclusive statement sent to Morocco World News on Thursday, that while Sweden is in the process of reviewing its entire policy with regards to Western Sahara, it does not intend, for the time being, to recognize the so-called Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.
New York – Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, said in an exclusive statement sent to Morocco World News on Thursday, that while Sweden is in the process of reviewing its entire policy with regards to Western Sahara, it does not intend, for the time being, to recognize the so-called Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.
“In light of press reports in Morocco, Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström says that the issue of Sweden’s entire policy on Western Sahara is the subject of an internal review,” informed Erik Wirkensjö, Press secretary to the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs.
”The Government does not want to preempt this examination. Therefore, the issue of recognition is currently not on the table, which Prime Minister Stefan Löven also made clear in March 2015,” he added.
The statement comes following news reports that Sweden is considering a project to recognize the self-proclaimed SADR.
This alleged project stirred outrage in Morocco and prompted the Moroccan government to send a firm message to the Swedish government stressing that it will not accept any interference in the UN political process, which seeks to pave the way towards finding a mutually acceptable political solution to the territorial dispute.
On Monday, Morocco’s head of government, Abdelilah Benkirane, convened an emergency meeting with all Moroccan political parties, including the opposition parties.
Following the meeting, the government reaffirmed its commitment to the UN process and reiterated its refusal to accept any deviation from the framework established by the relevant UN resolutions on the conflict since April 2007, which call for finding a mutually acceptable political solution.
As an initial retaliatory measure, on Monday, Moroccan authorities prevented Swedish furniture giant, IKEA from opening its first stores in Morocco.
This decision was only the prelude to a tougher stance from Rabat. On Thursday, the Moroccan government said it would boycott all Swedish companies and products.
Speaking to reporters following the government weekly meeting, Mustapha El Khalfi, Minister of Communication said that “Sweden has declared an economic war in Morocco in calling for a boycott of Moroccan companies as well as foreign companies that have relations with Morocco.”
The Minister accused Stockholm of providing “financial support” to organizations that are hostile to Morocco.
The Minister went on to add that Morocco will not tolerate its “stability, territorial unity and its commercial interests” to be threatened.
Morocco’s Head of Government said it was “unfortunate” that the Swedish government chose to preempt the UN efforts and sided with the Polisario and Algeria.
“It is unreasonable that a respectable country like Sweden intervenes in such an unfortunate way in the Moroccan Sahara issue, adopting a bill that provides for recognizing the so-called ghostly republic,” Benkirane told reporters on the sidelines of the weekly cabinet meeting.
The question of Western Sahara is the subject of a four-decade long dispute between Morocco, on the one hand, and Algeria and the Polisario, on the other hand.
Aftrer a 16-year deadlock concerning the organization of a referendum on self-determination in the territory, the United Nations Security urged the parties to present proposals that could pave the way towards finding a mutually acceptable political solution to the territorial dispute.
In April 2007, Morocco presented an Autonomy Plan to the Security Council as a way to allow the Saharawi to exercise their right to self-determination and self-rule, while remaining under Moroccan sovereignty.
Although the proposal was hailed by veto-wielding countries such as France and the United States, and considered as a “serious” and “viable” option, the Polisario and Algeria rejected it and firmly insisted that the only way to end the conflict is the organization of a referendum on self-determination with the option of independence from Morocco. This option is rejected by Morocco, which considers the territory as part of its sovereignty.
In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El País in August 2008, Peter Van Walsom, the UNSG’s former Personal Envoy to Western Sahara, said it was impossible to organize a self-determination referendum in the territory as called for in the settlement plan of 1991. The Dutch diplomat added that “the establishment of a viable state in the Western Sahara was not a viable solution.”
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission