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Saturday, February 04, 2023
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U.S congrassman for Florida, Lincoln Diaz-Balart said Morocco's plan to grant autonomy to its Southern Provinces -The Sahara- is "an historic opportunity" to resolve the 30-year-old dispute that opposes Morocco to the algeria-backed Polisario separatists over the control of the Sahara.

    Diaz-Balart told MAP the initiative is "very commendable." The Moroccan initiative, which was submitted to the UN Secretary General early April, consists in granting substantial autonomy to the Sahara, a former Spanish colony that was ceded to Morocco in 1975 under the Madrid Accord, and for which the Polisario is claiming independence.
  
    "The government of Morocco has shown its willingness to negotiate in good faith," Diaz-Balart said, voicing hope to "see the same good faith by the other parties." Officially, the Moroccan initiative is titled "Moroccan Initiative for Negotiating an Autonomy Statute for The Sahara region."

    In his report on the initiative, the United Nations chief, Ban Ki-Moon, too called on the parties to enter into negotiations without preconditions. The same call was issued by the UN Security Council members, who insisted "there should be negotiations between the parties."

    Diaz-Balart called for “support(ing) diplomatically the Kingdom of Morocco to help the process,” underlining that the initiative would not only benefit Morocco and the region, but also the Maghreb Union countries –Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Libya and Tunisia. He added that the Moroccan proposal “will benefit the economic development, the creation of jobs and the political stability of the entire Maghreb.”

     The initiative, which was submitted to the UN chief on April 11, was lauded as “serious and credible” by the U.S., while British Prime Minister, Tony Blair admitted the Moroccan government had “worked hard” to elaborate the plan.


 

 

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