Qatar reiterated on Thursday its support for Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara and for the Moroccan Autonomy Plan as the basis of any realistic solution to the regional dispute.
Qatar’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Sheikha Alya Ahmed Saif Al Thani, expressed her country’s stance on the Western Sahara conflict before the UN General Assembly Fourth Committee, specialized in “political and decolonization” issues.
“With regard to the issue of the Moroccan Sahara […], Qatar expresses its support for the efforts of the UN Secretary-General aimed at reaching a lasting political solution of compromise […] so as to guarantee the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco over its territory,” Saif Al Thani said.
The Qatari diplomat reaffirmed that Morocco’s Autonomy Plan represents “a constructive initiative and the basis for any realistic solution to this issue.”
The Autonomy Plan, submitted by Morocco in 2007, remains the only proposal to gain wide international support. The plan suggests making Western Sahara a semi-autonomous region, on the condition that it remains under Morocco’s sovereignty.
Morocco’s plan would allow the population in Western Sahara to autonomously manage their socio-economic and political development process. Meanwhile, Morocco’s central government would continue to determine issues of national interest, such as defense, diplomacy, and religion.
Saif Al Thani expressed Qatar’s wish that the UN General Assembly Fourth Committee could contribute to the ongoing UN political process aiming to find a final solution to the dispute.
The solution must “preserve the interests of all parties, as well as guarantee security, stability, and constructive cooperation in the region,” she concluded.
Qatar, like the majority of Arab states, has consistently expressed its support for Morocco’s territorial integrity. The meeting of the UN General Assembly Fourth Committee on Thursday, October 15, represented an opportunity for the Gulf country to reiterate its stance.
Other countries that expressed their support for Morocco’s territorial integrity during the meeting include Mexico, Paraguay, Guatemala, and Papua New Guinea.