Peru is part of the new cohort of South American countries that have recently expressed their wholehearted support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan, breaking with the region’s tradition of supporting the Marxist militant group seeking separatism in Western Sahara.
Rabat – Morocco’s increasingly visible identity as a genuine advocate of South-South diplomacy and the imperative of furthering the perceptibly strong bilateral relations were at the center of a recent meeting between the Moroccan Ambassador to Peru, Amin Chaoudri, and Pedro Olaechea, the speaker of Peruvian Congress.
Meeting in Lima, Peru’s capital, on Friday, August 23, the two officials highlighted the “serious” steps both of their countries have taken in recent years and months to cement bilateral ties on a wide range of issues, from security to education to cultural and commercial exchanges.
The Moroccan diplomat later told MAP, Morocco’s official news outlet, that the meeting was a “perfect illustration” of the new dynamics in the diplomatic overtures between Morocco and Peru.
Since King Mohammed VI’s “historic” trip to the South American country back in 2004, Ambassador Chaoudri explained, the bilateral relationship has gone through positive experiences which have lately culminated in the establishment of a committee on Morocco-Peru friendship.
As a firm believer in the necessity of South-South Cooperation, the Moroccan ambassador elaborated, Morocco is poised to advance its relationship with Peru to a much higher level. This, he argued, will be achieved “on the basis of a strong friendship, mutual trust, as well as shared values” in the service of promoting the South-South momentum in global affairs.
Olaechea, the Peruvian MP, was as enthusiastic as the Moroccan diplomat when speaking about the long term implications of the strong-looking Morocco-Peru ties.
Like the Moroccan diplomat, the South American official spoke at length about the need of countries in the Global South, also called third world or developing countries, to continue building bridges of political and cultural cooperation “to face common challenges at both the regional and global levels.”
Speaker Olaechea underscored Morocco’s political reforms and its forward-looking foreign policy, saying that Morocco’s increased visibility in African affairs and South-South circles makes the North African country a reliable and “sought after” partner for Peru and any other country interested in Africa and South-South affairs.
During their meeting, the two officials spoke about the political impasse in Western Sahara and Morocco’s proposal—the 2007 Autonomy Plan—to end the decades-long conflict between Rabat and the separatist Polisario Front.
On that front, the Peruvian speaker reiterated his country’s stance by saluting the UN-led political process and praising Morocco’s proposal for a sustainable, politically negotiated, and mutually acceptable solution.
Peru is part of the new cohort of South American countries that have recently expressed their wholehearted support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan at the expense of their traditional Marxism-inspired solidarity with the Polisario Front.
The rupture has brought to light what many observers have called Morocco’s “pro-active diplomacy” on the Western Sahara question.
Instead of the reactionary approach of perceiving pro-Polisario countries as “enemies” of Morocco’s territorial integrity, the North African country has in recent years proceeded by engaging them and underscoring the positive implications of its proposal for stability and development in the disputed territories.
In May, the Peruvian Council of Solidarity with Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), which has until recently been a fierce advocate for self-determination and independence in Western Sahara, announced that self-determination was no longer a viable, feasible pathway towards a lasting settlement to the territorial conflict.
In light of UN Resolution 2468 and other developments in the Western Sahara issue over the past months and years, the Peruvian group stressed in its statement, the separatist camp’s agenda is “neither realistic nor pragmatic and does not respond to a mutually acceptable solution.”