He asked whether the EU will join the international trend or will rather stay in its comfort zone until the “train leaves.”
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita urged the European Union (EU) to adopt the “international trend” with regards to the Western Sahara conflict.
During his interview with Agence Europe, the official asked the EU to get out of its comfort zone to support the positive dynamics underway in Morocco’s southern provinces.
The Western Sahara region is rapidly developing, with more countries signing agreements for local economic projects. The EU has been absent from these discussions due to it not yet having recognized Moroccan sovereignty in the region.
The official stressed that the decision of the US to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara is a “natural evolution of the American position.”
He said that since 2007, the US considers the Moroccan autonomy initiative as a serious and realistic basis for finding a definitive solution to the regional conflict.
Morocco submitted the autonomy plan initiative to the UN Security Council in 2007. The Moroccan initiative suggests making Western Sahara a semi-autonomous region that remains under Morocco’s sovereignty.
The plan will allow the region’s inhabitants to manage their social, economic, and political affairs while Morocco handles defense and diplomacy.
Bourita argued that “when one says autonomy, I do not think that there is autonomy apart from ‘a sovereignty,’” he said.
The official said the US position strengthens the chances of a definitive solution, renewing Morocco’s commitment to continue to support the UN-led political process to find a solution in the framework of the autonomy initiative.
By the end of January, 42 countries supported Morocco’s approach, Bourita argued.
“This is not an isolated position, but a trend at the level of the international community.”
The official called on the EU to embrace the new trend and get out of its comfort zone to support the international trend.
He said that the process has gone “round and round for years.”
The official warned against the situation in the Sahel-Saharan zone, saying that the EU’s aspiration for stability means little “if there is no commitment.”
“Today, the train will leave. Is Europe going to remain passive or contribute to this dynamic? Bourita asked.
The Sahel situation is considered a breeding ground for terror organizations.
The North African country has long called for a shared responsibility to tackle terror threats in the region.
Morocco’s intelligence recently identified the involvement of 100 Polisario members in terror networks.
Earlier this month, member of the Moroccan Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) Mohamed Nifaoi called for a reinforced security approach to tackle the threat of terrorism in the region.
He recalled that Polisario member, Adnane Abo Alwalid, is leading one of the most active terrorist networks in the Sahel.
He said that Alwalid’s network targets joint military sites and patrols comprising local and international soldiers in Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali.
In 2019, the US State Department put a $5 million bounty on the head of the Polisario member, citing his involvement in the death of four American soldiers.