The Moroccan Ambassador to South Africa, Youssef Amrani, has explained the diplomatic significance of the US recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
He also responded to critics accusing Morocco of agreeing to “normalize” relations with Israel in exchange for the American recognition.
In a 387-second footage shared on Youtube, Amrani attempted to raise awareness about Morocco’s recent diplomatic developments.
Commenting on the US recognition of Morocco’s territorial integrity, Amrani said the development represents a “historical turning point” to how the international community will handle the Western Sahara issue in the future.
“This decision is even more important since it has been made by a great power, a major player on the international stage that has a permanent seat at the UN Security Council and is the pen holder in the council as far as the Sahara issue is concerned,” he said.
Amrani presented how the US came to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, saying the recognition “did not happen overnight.”
“The Moroccan Autonomy Initiative has always been supported by different US administrations and referred to as a realistic, credible, and serious solution to the Sahara issue since its presentation in 2007,” Amrani declared.
Turning focus to the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel, which US President Donald Trump announced on the same day he recognized the Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, Amrani stressed that the two decisions are separate.
“It is important to note that [the US] decision has not been made in exchange for the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel,” the diplomat said.
“This sovereign and independent decision taken by Morocco is the reflection of the peaceful and enduring coexistence between Moroccan Jews and Moroccan Muslims standing since centuries,” he continued.
Amrani explained that Morocco’s Jewish diaspora is the largest in the Arab world, with more than one million Moroccan Jews living in Israel.
As for Morocco’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Amrani affirmed that the recent decision “does not affect in any way Morocco’s defense of the legtimate Palestinian cause.”
Morocco will continue advocating for a two-state solution that preserves the Islamic identity of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and recognizes the eastern part of the city as the capital of Palestine, Amrani declared.
Morocco is committed to deploy all of its diplomatic weight to push for a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he stressed.