Rabat – King Mohammed VI has thanked the UN and the AU for their resolve to find a political settlement in Western Sahara.
Speaking last night in commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People, King Mohammed VI highlighted his resolve to invest more efforts and resources to solve Morocco’s youth issues, especially the quality of education and job opportunities.
Despite the speech’s focus on a domestic agenda, the King also made a special mention of the recent international developments in the territorial dispute in Western Sahara.
Morocco ready to negotiate
The King pointed out Morocco’s readiness to “confidently and responsibly” engage with the UN Security Council and the international community in the search of an agreed upon and mutually acceptable solution to the territorial dispute between Morocco and the Polisario Front.
Moroccans have always been galvanized by values of “unanimity, cohesion and sacrifices” when it comes to upholding the country’s territorial integrity, the King said. He explained that he is “pleased to note that there is increasing compatibility between these principles and the stances adopted by the international community.”
“Indeed, the recent resolutions of the UN Security Council and the African Union confirm, without a shadow of a doubt, that the United Nations Organization has exclusive authority to manage the political process relating to this question.”
AU’s ‘positive reaction’ to Morocco
The King’s mention of the United Nations’ “exclusive authority” was a direct reference to the African Union’s recent decision to refrain from having “a parallel agenda” in the Western Sahara territorial conflict.
In the AU Western Sahara report presented on July 1, the continental organization said that it would respect the “required cohesion” with the UN’s stance by “prioritizing and supporting” the UN-led negotiations in Western Sahara. The report was delivered by AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat at the 31st AU Summit for Heads of States in Nouakchott, Mauritania.
“The AU Conference of Heads of States and Chiefs of Governments will lend effective support to the UN-led peace process based on the relevant proposals of the UN Security Council,” the report said. It noted that the AU would act in harmony with the UN framework to push towards a “fair, sustainable, and mutually acceptable political solution.”
The AU’s new stance has been perceived as a historic nod to Morocco’s position. It was the first time that the AU took such a direction in the decades-long dispute in Western Sahara. King Mohammed VI underscored his “appreciation” of the move.
“I should like to take this opportunity to express my thanks and appreciation to the leaders of African sister nations who have reacted positively to Morocco’s principled stances and responded to the call of the Security Council, which invited the members of the international community to support its efforts,” the King said yesterday in his speech.