Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, told the press that the bilateral meeting held in Lisbon between the Moroccan delegation and the United Nations Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Horst Kohler, is “neither a negotiation process nor a step toward one.”
After expressing satisfaction over the bilateral meeting held in Lisbon on Tuesday, Bourita said that the talks held with Kohler were a “contact [established specifically] to discuss the evolution of the Moroccan Sahara issue.”The Moroccan diplomat also noted that the discussions the Moroccan and the UN official were held in “an atmosphere of serenity and the debates were rich and fruitful.”
Bourita, who led the Moroccan delegation during the talks, said that the “debates allowed the Moroccan delegation to recall the genesis of the regional dispute and the political, legal, and geostrategic considerations that brought about its birth in the 70s.”
In statements printed by Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), Bourita had added that the meeting was an opportunity for the members of the Moroccan delegation to present Morocco’s efforts to implement the regional development model and structures of advanced regionalization.
Morocco’s Autonomy initiative was one of the most important talks held between both the UNSG Personal Envoy and the Moroccan delegation.The meeting offered both sides the chance to discuss the main issues occurring in “the Maghreb, the cost of the No Maghreb, and the reasons for the blockage of the Maghreb integration.”
Bourita stressed that during the meeting, the delegation kept in mind the speech made by King Mohammed VI in conjunction with the 42nd anniversary of the Green March last November 6, 2017. In his speech monarch had emphasized Morocco’s established principles and framework of reference. These are the foundations upon which the Moroccan position on the Western Sahara issue is based.
At Kohler’s invitation, the Moroccan delegation also included Omar Hilale (Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations), Sidi Hamdi Ould Errachid (President of the Laayoun-Sakia El Hamra region), and Yajna Khattat (President of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region)—according to a statement made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The diplomatic meeting, which started at 9:50 a.m (GMT) yesterday, was the last one held before the submission of an annual report prepared by Kohler on the Western Sahara conflict. Kohler will submit his report to the United Nations’ Security Council in early April.
This meeting is part of Morocco’s permanent cooperation with the UN, which seeks to find a fair solution to end the conflict over Western Sahara