Rabat – US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker has reiterated his country’s position regarding Western Sahara during his visit to Algiers on Thursday.
Along with its proxy force the Polisario Front, Algeria has been frustrated over the US decision to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
Morocco’s eastern neighbor rejected the decision, claiming the move would undermine efforts to end the conflict.
Algeria continues to oppose Morocco’s sovereignty over the region, defending and actively supporting Polisario’s independence claims by hosting, financing and arming the group.
To Algeria’s dismay, Schenker reiterated that the US believes that the solution to end the conflict should be through political negotiation between Morocco and the Polisario Front within the context of the Autonomy Plan.
The official said that “it is time to move towards courageous solutions,” stressing that all previous “steps taken before have failed
Schneker responded to Algeria’s criticism regarding US recognition, describing his country’s decision as a “courageous approach” that seeks to find a solution to the conflict.
David Schneker’s visit to Algeria is part of his diplomatic tour of the region, which will see him arriving in Morocco in the coming days.
The schedule also included a visit to Jordan.
In addition to its decision to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty, the US will also open a consulate in Dakhla, southern Morocco to emphasize its support for the country’s territorial integrity.
The new US consulate plans to boost economic development in the region and to encourage American investments and contribute to economic and social development, particularly for the benefit of the inhabitants of the southern provinces.
Following President Trump’s Western Sahara announcement on December 10, the US government said it is planning to boost investments in Morocco to at least $3 billion over the next four years.
The US also plans to open a “Prosper Africa Office” in Morocco. The initiative aims to support and promote trade between Africa and the US and “connect U.S. and African businesses with new buyers, suppliers, and investment opportunities”
Under the initiative, Washington has pledged to provide $1 billion to support trade between the US and North Africa.