In an unprecedented move, US President Donald Trump recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
Trump took to his Twitter today, saying that the US has no option other than supporting Morocco in its cause.
“Morocco recognized the United States in 1777. It is thus fitting we recognize their sovereignty over the Western Sahara.”
Trump shared a series of tweets lauding diplomatic relations between the two countries.
He said that he signed a proclamation recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara.
The US president, who will leave the White House in January, also reiterated the US’ support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan.
“Morocco’s serious, credible, and realistic autonomy proposal is the ONLY basis for a just and lasting solution for enduring peace and prosperity!” he tweeted.
Following Trump’s tweets, the White House shared a statement to reaffirm support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan.
“The United States recognizes Moroccan sovereignty over the entire Western Sahara territory and reaffirms its support for Morocco’s serious, credible, and realistic autonomy proposal as the only basis for a just and lasting solution to the dispute over the Western Sahara territory,” the White House said.
The oval office emphasized that the US believes an “independent Sahrawi State” is not a “realistic option” to end the Western Sahara conflict.
The White House also called on all parties to engage in discussions without delay, using Morocco’s Autonomy Plan.
US Ambassador to Morocco David Fischer welcomed the “historic announcement,” qualifying it as “a major milestone in more than 200 years of friendship between our two countries.”
Trump’s move comes amid a series of diplomatic breakthroughs Morocco has achieved over the past three years. The country’s diplomatic momentum is on display in the language of all resolutions the Security Council adopted since October 2018, in which it admitted Algeria’s responsibility to play a leading role in negotiations for a mutually acceptable solution.
Since resolution 2440 of October 2018, all Security Council resolutions on Western Sahara have mentioned Algeria, which observers regard as a significant development in the UNSC’s approach.
In his series of tweets, Trump also announced that Morocco and Israel decided to normalize diplomatic relations.
Expressing support for the US’ efforts to expand the Middle East peace plan, Trump said today marked a “historic breakthrough.”
He said that the US’ two “great friends” agreed to establish full diplomatic relations.
Trump described the move as a “massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East.”
The tweets published one after another have already witnessed thousands of retweets and comments.
The announcement followed the decision of a number of Arab states to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, including Bahrain and the UAE.
Initially, Morocco’s government denied rumors linking recognition of its sovereignty over Western Sahara to diplomatic relations with Israel.
Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani denied rumors about normalization between Israel and Morocco in August.
During a political meeting of his party, the Justice and Development Party (PJD), El Othmani rejected all speculation over Morocco’s diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv.
Morocco’s state media has not yet reported the news. However, Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs retweeted Trump’s announcements, confirming the developments.
President-Elect Joe Biden will need to decide whether to maintain or reverse the decision after taking office in January. Reversing Trump’s move would be difficult for Biden as it pairs with Morocco’s normalization with Israel.