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French Senator: Morocco’s Autonomy Plan Promotes Stability, Security

French Senator: Morocco's Autonomy Plan Promotes Stability, Security
French Senator Francois Grosdidier.

Rabat – French Senator Francois Grosdidier has affirmed that Morocco’s autonomy plan in Western Sahara will “promote stability and security” in the region.

Grosdidier said that the autonomy plan fulfills the democratic aspirations and sustainable development needs of the Sahrawi population, ”while respecting the identity of the populations,” reported state-owned news agency Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).

The French senator made his statements Wednesday, October 10, before the 4th Committee of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Grosdidier brought up security in the region, saying, it is not a “minor issue in the Sahelo-Saharan region.”

“The persistence of the jihadist presence shows the difficulty of neighboring states to exercise effective sovereignty over these huge territories,” said the French senator.

The Moroccan autonomy plan would settle the Western Sahara conflict and “would allow the entire Maghreb to take a good step forward,” he continued.

Grosdidier also indicated that an independent Western Sahara would not be able “to control its vast territory with such a low population density.” He explained that Western Sahara  “would become a lawless area while it is today the most stable and safe in the entire Sahelo-Saharan region.”

Grosdidier recognized Morocco’s efforts, led by King Mohammed VI, to promote security against threats by extremists in the region.

“Thanks to its Sahara which stretches to the Mauritanian border, Morocco can play a vital role to promote the stability of this vast region, on which also depends the security of the Maghreb, the Sahel, the Middle East and Europe,” the French senator said.

France, as one of Morocco’s strongest European allies, has supported Morocco’s territorial integrity over Western Sahara for many years.

In January, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a Paris meeting that Morocco’s autonomy plan is the most viable consensual solution for Western Sahara.

Le Drian also said that he would emphasize to the United Nations Secretary-General’s personal envoy for Western Sahara that Morocco’s Autonomy Plan is a serious and credible basis for a political solution.

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