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Western Sahara: France Reiterates Support for 2007 Autonomy Proposal

king mohammed vi and françois hollande

Rabat – France reiterated Tuesday its support for Morocco’s autonomy proposal for a mutually acceptable political resolution to the Western Sahara issue, referring to the plan as “serious and credible.”

“The position of France on this issue is well-known and constant,” Romain Nadal, a spokesman from the European country’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday at a press briefing.

French officials, along with Morocco’s other western allies, support a “just and negotiated” solution, under the oversight of the United Nations, to the territorial dispute in the Southern Provinces.

The 2007 plan – which offers the local Sahrawi population self-governance on issues of regional concern, while keeping the territory under the sovereignty of the Moroccan flag – represents a “serious and credible basis for a negotiated solution,” the ministry added.

The separatist Polisario Front has been fighting to create a new nation in the Western Sahara since Spanish colonial forces left the area in the 1970s following the Green March – during which 350,000 Moroccans gathered in Tarfaya to restore Morocco’s sovereignty over the region.

The self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), backed by the Front and Algiers, claims to represent the whole spectrum of the Saharwi population from its base in the refugee camps in Tindouf.

King Mohammed VI has been visiting African countries that recognize the SADR over the past two months to prepare for Morocco’s return to the African Union (AU) – which the kingdom abandoned in 1984 after the admission of the puppet government as a full member.

East Africa has been the target of the monarch’s tours so far, and in early December, the Moroccan King  will head to Nigeria in an attempt to prompt Abuja to adopt a neutral position on the territorial dispute.

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