Reiterating its traditional stances, Morocco remains at the forefront of countries supporting peacekeeping efforts in the Arab World.
Rabat – Morocco has reiterated its constant support for the Palestinian people in defending their cause and rights, said the Minister Delegate to Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nezha El Ouafi.
The minister made the statement during the 153rd meeting of the Council of the League of Arab States yesterday in Cairo, Egypt.
“The Kingdom of Morocco, under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, reiterates its constant support to the Palestinian people in defending their just cause and legitimate and inalienable rights and insists on the imperative of not altering the religious pluralism that distinguishes the holy city and of preserving its legal status,” the minister affirmed.
Morocco hopes to see the development of a new dynamic capable of achieving peace and finding a realistic, applicable, and lasting solution for the long-lasting Israeli-Palestinian conflict, she added.
El Ouafi maintained that Morocco will always support the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to the establishment of their independent, viable, and sovereign state, with East Al-Quds, or Jerusalem, as its capital.
Moroccans and Palestine
Morocco has always expressed its support for the “Palestinian cause,” however, the Moroccan people have started questioning some of the government’s actions.
In January, after US President Donald Trump revealed his “deal of the century” as a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—a solution that goes against the demands of Palestinians—the Moroccan government thanked Trump for his “peacekeeping efforts.”
Experts explained that the statements were very diplomatic, aimed at maintaining strong Morocco-US ties. However, the move angered Moroccans who consider the “Palestinian cause” sacred.
On February 9, more than ten thousand Moroccans marched in the streets of Rabat in solidarity with Palestinians, protesting the US-brokered “peace plan” for the Middle East.
Adding fuel to the fire, news outlet Axios published an article suggesting that Morocco will conclude a tripartite deal with Israel and the US.
The deal, Axios speculated, will earn Morocco American recognition for its sovereignty over Western Sahara in exchange for the normalization of Moroccan-Israeli relations.
To this date, the Moroccan government has neither confirmed nor denied the rumors.
Hopes of restoring peace in Libya
During Wednesday’s meeting, El Ouafi also spoke about the Libyan crisis, stressing that the solution to the ongoing conflict in the North African country “should not be envisaged through a military option, but requires a comprehensive political settlement under the auspices of the United Nations, accepted by all Libyan parties.”
Morocco participated in all the stages of the inter-Libyan dialogue since its inception, recalled the minister.
According to El Ouafi, and “in all objectivity,” the Skhirat Agreement signed on December 17, 2015, remains a “sufficiently resilient [reference] to apprehend new developments as well as a framework for understanding the differences between the Libyan parties and contributing to the restoration of peace and stability in this brotherly country.”
Morocco is ready to welcome the Libyan parties for dialogue and consultation, assured the minister.
The Kingdom plays an active role in mediating between the conflicting parties in Libya: The UN-backed Government of National Accord, based in Tripoli, and the Libyan National Army, led by General Khalifa Haftar and based in Benghazi.
To this date, the Skhirat Agreement remains the most concrete peacekeeping effort. The agreement puts in place an interim government and a ceasefire between the conflict parties.
Cooperation beyond the Arab World
At the end of her speech, the Moroccan official discussed the partnership initiatives between Arab states and countries from other regions.
She expressed her hope that the upcoming Africa-Arab World Summit can successfully strengthen Arab-African cooperation. The Arab World and Africa share several objectives and have much potential to develop their ties, within the framework of respect for international law and the sovereignty of states.
The summit, expected to bring together 22 foreign ministers from Africa and the Arab World, is scheduled for March 30 in the Algerian capital. However, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, hinted at the possibility of postponing the summit for a month or two due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Algeria.
During the Cairo meeting, Arab representatives discussed several issues relating to joint Arab action in the fields of politics, economy, society, law, human rights, finance, and communication.