Top officials from the EU and US met for foreign policy dialogue that ignored tensions in the Maghreb, indicating a possible growing consensus.
Rabat – Representatives of the EU and US met in Brussels on Wednesday, March 24, to discuss prominent foreign policy issues that left the Western Sahara issue undiscussed. The EU and US officially have diverging positions on Morocco’s claims on Western Sahara, yet Joe Biden’s administration has been noticeably mute on the issue.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and EU Foreign policy chief and the European’s Commission’s Vice President Josep Borrell met for the first time in Brussels. The two top diplomats representing the EU and US discussed a variety of current geopolitical issues but notably left Morocco out of the talks.
The decision to omit the Western Sahara question is remarkable as officially the EU and the US have diverging views on Morocco’s sovereignty over the region. The fact that the EU did not raise the issue is likely another sign that the two major Western powers are increasingly seeing eye-to-eye on the issue.
Morocco has a similar relationship with the US and the EU. Both powers rely on the North African country for regional trade and security issues. While many officials in Europe have voiced support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan, the bloc’s official position, of supporting UN-led efforts towards a mutually acceptable political solution, remains unchanged.
The absence of this topic from discussions between Blinken and Borrell is likely another sign that the two powers are unofficially recognizing Morocco’s importance as a guarantor for regional stability as well as Western confidence in Morocco as a reliable partner.
China, Russia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Afghanistan were all topics of discussion in Brussels. The absence of Morocco’s most prominent foreign policy concern from the dialogue appears to be a sign that the EU and US could soon reach a common understanding and promote peace in the region by supporting Morocco’s Autonomy Plan.