Morocco’s government continues to be positive about UN Resolution 2440, adopted by the Security Council on Wednesday.
The first point that Morocco considers as a “diplomatic achievement” in the latest resolution was the Security Council’s decision to pave the way towards including Algeria as part of the UN-led political process.
On Wednesday, the resolution called on all parties, both the neighboring and main parties to the conflict, to “work constructively| to find a solution to the 42-year-old conflict over the region.
According to Bourita, the resolution has preserved Morocco’s achievements from previous resolutions: the pre-eminence of the Moroccan autonomy initiative, the serious and credible nature of Morocco’s efforts, and the call for the registration of refugees.
In September, the UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy for Western Sahara, Horst Kohler, invited Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the Polisario Front to participate in round-table talks.
Algeria, however, has long claimed it is an observer and not a party to the conflict, as opposed to Morocco and Polisario.
On Wednesday, the resolution noted that it “expresses its full support for the intention of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy to initiate a renewed negotiations process before the end of 2018; notes that invitations to an initial roundtable meeting in Geneva on 5 and 6 December 2018 were sent on 28 September 2018, welcomes that Morocco, the Frente Polisario, Algeria, and Mauritania have responded positively, and encourages them to work constructively with the Personal Envoy, in the spirit of compromise, throughout the duration of this process to ensure a successful outcome.”
In the paragraph, the Security Council used language that, according to analysts, carries significant political weight because it mentions Algeria and Mauritania on equal footing with Morocco and Polisario.
Despite the resolution’s invitation to Algeria to show commitment and willingness to contribute to the UN-led political process, Bouteflika’s regime still believes that the conflict should be solved between Morocco and Polisario only.
On Thursday, Algeria issued a statement saying it took note of the new resolution.Repeating its traditional line, Algeria said that the Security Council “again calls upon the two parties to the conflict, which it has clearly identified, namely Morocco and the Polisario Front, to resume direct negotiations without preconditions and in good faith.”
In response, Bourita said that the resolution encourages the participants in the round-table meeting, , to “participate without preconditions and in good faith.”
He added that the resolution shows a “significant evolution in the process.” He also said that Algeria is “indeed, urged to fully commit itself throughout the process, in accordance with its political, historical and legal responsibility in the dispute.”
The Moroccan government also approves the Security Council’s position on the region’s status quo. Bourita recalled that the resolution included two new paragraphs calling Polisario out.
The Polisario Front has long claimed Bir Lahlou and Tifariti as “liberated zones.” However, the resolution dismissed Polisario’s claims, calling on the front to “fully adhere to its commitments to the Personal Envoy with respect to Bir Lahlou, Tifariti, and the buffer strip at Guerguerat,” reads the second part of operative paragraph 6 of the resolution.
Resolution 2440 also invites the parties to “respect their relevant obligations and assurances, and refrain from any actions that could undermine UN-facilitated negotiations or further destabilize the situation in the Western Sahara.”