Sept. 8 Elections Confirm Attachment of Moroccan Sahara Population to Kingdom's Territorial Unity
The massive participation of the population of the Moroccan Sahara in the elections of September 8 confirms its attachment to the territorial unity of the Kingdom and its full commitment to the implementation of the new development model in the southern provinces, said Monday, minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita.
This adherence "undeniably reflects the willingness of the population of the southern provinces to engage fully and effectively" in the implementation of the sustainable development project launched by HM King Mohammed VI in 2015, stressed the minister, via video conference, during Morocco's speech at the High-Level Segment of the 76th United Nations General Assembly.
Bourita said, in this regard, that the voting operation in the Moroccan Sahara, like other regions of Morocco, took place in a climate of mobilization and in accordance with international democratic standards, confirming that the population in the southern provinces of Morocco live in peace and serenity and participate fully in the socio-economic development of the region, as well as in the political life.
This is evidenced by the voter turnout in the southern provinces of the Kingdom, the highest at national level, which reached 63%, he said.
On the same occasion, the minister expressed Morocco's readiness to continue to cooperate with the United Nations in the framework of the efforts deployed by its Secretary-General to reach a realistic, pragmatic and lasting political solution, based on compromise in full respect of the sovereignty of Morocco and its territorial integrity.
This solution can only be found if Algeria assumes its full responsibility in the political process of the round-table meetings, commensurate with its responsibility in the creation and maintenance of this conflict, he insisted, saying that the autonomy initiative presented by Morocco in 2007 remains the only path to a political and final solution to this artificial regional dispute.
He also recalled that Morocco, since its independence, has placed the issue of supporting stability in its regional and international environment at the heart of its diplomacy, stressing that the Kingdom remains committed to working for the final settlement of the regional conflict over the Moroccan Sahara, in full respect of its territorial integrity and as part of its national sovereignty.
Bourita expressed Morocco's concern about the tragic humanitarian situation of the population in the Tindouf camps, where the host country, Algeria, has ceded its responsibilities to a separatist armed group, in clear violation of the principles of international humanitarian law.
On this occasion, the minister called on the international community to act to bring Algeria to respect its commitments under international conventions, including allowing the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees to proceed with the registration and census of this population in accordance with successive requests of the Security Council.