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Saturday, February 04, 2023
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  The Moroccan initiative to grant substantial autonomy to its southern provinces -the Sahara- is "realist and generous" and is "undoubtedly a great step forward" to settle the conflict, writes the Spanish daily "Granada Hoy".

 In an article, published lately by the director of the Grenada Center for Islamic Studies, the daily says the "brief and concise" Moroccan proposal "has surprised by its simplicity and clarity."   
 
    The Moroccan proposal has also surprised by reflecting an obvious effort of Morocco to advance towards a model of state that accepts a high level of democratic self-management, and which proposes for the Sahara a status that is very similar to the one in the Spanish autonomous regions, points out the writer.
 
    Earlier this month, Morocco submitted a proposal to the UN that grants substantial autonomy to the Sahrawis, residents of the Southern Provinces, in a bid to solve the 30-year-old dispute over this former Spanish territory that was ceded to Morocco in 1975.
 
    “This initiative of king Mohammed VI deserves attention and examination by the Spanish political officials, as it is realist and generous,” he notes, underlining “the consensus of all Moroccan political forces” about this issue.
 
    “It would be inconceivable and tactless, he says, from the Spanish government not to help (…) settle this dispute that knows an impasse for many years.” 
 
    Mr Castineira underlines that it is in the interest of Spain to have “a united and stable Morocco that enjoys peace” as neighbor, as well as “the cohesion and union” of its Magreb neighbors, adding that “every initiative of union and consensual integration that is freely accepted by the parties is often better than discord and dissensions.”
 
    Commenting on the Moroccan initiative, the president of Paris Forum, Albert Mallet, said in an article published by the French monthly “Marianne”, that this project deserves “further attention”.
 
    Mr Mallet said the kingdom “has broken a taboo –the Sahara- by launching a promising reflection on the autonomy project that deserves further attention from its partners and would launch a constructive dialog with Algeria, which would be beneficial for the whole region.”

 

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