Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have expressed their support for Morocco’s territorial integrity before the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee.
The Saudi and Emirati permanent missions to the UN issued statements about the Western Sahara conflict on Friday, October 23.
The two Arab states expressed trust in Morocco’s Autonomy Plan and the UN-led process to solve the lingering territorial dispute.
“The brotherly Kingdom of Morocco has seriously and in good faith contributed to the efforts exerted under the support of the UN to find a permanent solution to the Sahara issue,” said Abdullah Bin Yahya Al-Mualimi, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative at the UN.
“I reaffirm my country’s position in support of the autonomy initiative presented by the brotherly Kingdom of Morocco, which constitutes a choice aimed at reaching a realistic and equitable solution,” he added.
The Saudi diplomat also congratulated Morocco for its development efforts in Western Sahara, especially since 2015. He recalled that the Moroccan government has allocated over $8 billion to improve the socio-economic conditions of local populations and allow them to benefit from the region’s resources.
Al-Mualimi mentioned Morocco’s achievements in the field of human rights as well. He welcomed the country’s positive interaction with international human rights organizations, as well as the role that the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) plays in Laayoune and Dakhla, southern Morocco.
Saudi Arabia encouraged Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the separatist Polisario Front to continue consultations in order to reach lasting agreements. Al-Mualimi recalled the roundtable meetings in Geneva between the four parties in December 2018 and March 2019.
As his comments turned to UN Resolution 2494’s provisions, the Saudi diplomat welcomed the UN Security Council’s efforts in solving the conflict. The resolution, adopted on October 30, 2019, reaffirmed the UN’s “commitment to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, based on compromise.”
United Arab Emirates
The UAE’s permanent mission to the UN issued a similar statement, stressing the need to preserve Morocco’s territorial integrity.
“Our country reiterates its position regarding the Moroccan Sahara issue. The UAE supports the Autonomy Plan that the Kingdom of Morocco presented in 2007 and the Security Council considered serious and credible,” the statement said.
Emirati diplomacy emphasized that the Moroccan initiative respects international law and UN resolutions.
The UAE’s diplomatic mission also welcomed Morocco’s efforts to improve the living conditions of the population in Western Sahara, including, most recently, the country’s largely effective COVID-19 measures in its southern provinces.
The Saudi and Emirati statements come amid a series of meetings at the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee, specialized in “special political and decolonization” issues.
With their pro-Morocco remarks on the Sahara dossier, Saudi Arabia and the UAE added to the list of Arab states that expressed support for Morocco’s territorial integrity during the ongoing sessions.
Over the past two weeks, Qatar, Jordan, Bahrain, and Yemen also spoke approvingly of the Moroccan autonomy initiative in Western Sahara, saying it is a credible and sound route toward sustainable peace.