Brussels - The European Union has commended Morocco’s decision to withdraw from the Gueguerat zone immediately after the publication of a statement by the United Nations Secretary Antonio Guterres on Saturday.
Brussels – The European Union has commended Morocco’s decision to withdraw from the Gueguerat zone immediately after the publication of a statement by the United Nations Secretary Antonio Guterres on Saturday.
The announcement made by Morocco of a unilateral withdrawal from the Guerguarat zone is “an important step”, said on Monday a European Union (EU) spokesperson.
“All parties must respect the terms of the ceasefire and continue to work for the interest and stability of the region,” he said in a statement to MAP.
The EU, the statement added, “supports the efforts of the UN Secretary-General to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution” to the Sahara issue “within the framework of arrangements consistent with the principles and the purposes of the Charter of the United Nations.”
Upon high instructions of King Mohammed VI, Morocco has started, on Sunday, a unilateral withdrawal from the Guerguarat zone.
The action took place in order to “immediately apply and respect the request made by the UNSG,” said a statement by the Foreign Ministry.
On Saturday evening, the UN chief said he “was deeply concerned about the increased tensions in the vicinity of Guerguerat” and called on Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario to exercise maximum restraint and avoid taking any measures that could escalate tension in the region.
Guterres strongly “urged the parties to unconditionally withdraw all armed elements from the Buffer Strip as soon as possible, to create an environment conducive to a resumption of the dialogue in the context of the political process led by the United Nations.”
Guterres statement was issued 24 hours after the phone he held with King Mohammed VI. During the phone conversation, the Moroccan monarch urged the UN chief to “take urgent and necessary measures to put an end to an unacceptable situation seriously threatening the UN-brokered ceasefire and jeopardizing stability in the region of Guergarat,” according to a communiqué from the royal cabinet.
In recent weeks, Polisario armed elements have been obstructing the traffic of commercial truck crossing the Moroccan southern border to Mauritania.
The UN chief echoed King Mohammed VI’s concern when he underlined “that regular commercial traffic should not be obstructed.”