Rabat – When a Moroccan delegation met with the UNSG Personal Envoy for the Western Sahara Horst Kohler in Lisbon on Tuesday, it was not “talks process,” but rather a first meeting to discuss the evolution of the issue, said Minister Delegate for Relations with Parliament and Civil Society, Mustapha El Khalfi, on Thursday, March 8.
The meeting was an occasion to talk about the roots of this Western Sahara conflict, which dates back to the ‘70s, and recall the conditions that led to the emergence of this regional conflict and its legal, political, and geostrategic dimensions, said El Khalfi at a press briefing held after the weekly cabinet meeting.
The Lisbon meeting was also an occasion to recall the outstanding efforts made nationally concerning the regional development model, the extensive regionalization or the autonomy proposal presented by Morocco, El Khalfi said.
“The Moroccan delegation gave, on this occasion, additional details about the autonomy plan, its very rich content and its very solid legal bases,” he added.
He also underlined that all components were tackled as part of the fundamentals of the national position as stressed in the King’s speech on the 42nd anniversary of the Green March, on November 6, 2017, when the sovereign highlighted the four broad lines of the Moroccan position:
First, Morocco denies any solution to the Sahara question outside of the framework of Morocco’s full sovereignty over its Sahara and the Autonomy Plan Initiative, which has been declared serious and credible by the international community.
Scond, the kingdom draws lessons from past experience, as a problem is not so much finding a solution as determining the process that produces it.
Third, Morocco ensures full compliance with the terms of reference adopted by the UN Security Council when addressing this regional dispute, for the Security Council is the only international body tasked with overseeing the settlement process.
Finally, Morocco rejects outright any transgression or attempt to infringe on Morocco’s legitimate rights or its best interests, including obsolete proposals designed to divert the settlement process from the set terms of reference, or to introduce or impose other issues handled by other relevant bodies.