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Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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No reasonable person can believe that the issue can be settled without Algeria

The latest resolution adopted by the UN Security Council on the Moroccan Sahara issue is a step in the right direction, said Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, noting that he has provided answers. necessary clarifications to questions that could no longer be held in standby.


These issues, which were at the heart of proceedings conducted following Royal Instructions in different capitals, concern the conditions of respect of cease-fire, purpose of the political process, role of Algeria in this process and uselessness sterile controversies on peripheral issues such as human rights or natural resources, Bourita said in an interview with international weekly Jeune Afrique published Sunday.


For example, with regard to ceasefire agreements, the Security Council demanded Polisario's immediate withdrawal from the Guerguarate zone, considering its presence illegal and illegitimate, the minister said, ading that this is an important clarification. because it restores the supremacy of the 1991 ceasefire agreement over military agreements made several years later, but the Minurso tended to make it sacred and taken as sole reference.


Yet, it is only a technical tool to regulate military activity in an area that was not to change configuration, at the risk of calling into question the ceasefire agreement, he said. , noting that "demonstrations" east of the Moroccan defense system, "gatherings" organized in Bir Lahlou or Tifariti, or "administrative constructions" that  Polisario is tempted to undertake in this zone, are now considered by the Security Council as "destabilizing actions", which must cease.


Polisario being, by definition, an armed militia - let's remember it: entity not recognized by the UN -, all its activities, whatever its character, can be considered only as military, he indicated .


He further stressed that the Security Council has also defined the purpose of the political process, noting that it is a new paragraph that comes just after the extension of Minurso  mandate and emphasizes the need for 'a realistic, achievable and sustainable solution based on compromise'.


This is a very important development, which removes the simplistic and reductive schemas that some have erected as dogma, he said, rejoicing that it is this same term of "realist" that excluded Peter Van Walsum (former UN Secretary-General's personal envoy to the Sahara from 2006 to 2008) earning him an eternal enmity from opposing parties.


Regarding the role of Algeria, another paragraph was added to call this neighboring country "to contribute more to the political process" and  "strengthen its commitment to the negotiation process," noted Mr. Bourita, also adding that the Security Council has not fallen into the trap of mentioning the issue of natural resources, considering that this is not relevant, while opposing parties hoped that the disputed and contestable judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union would change the situation.


"Our file is solid, our arguments are strong and our just cause is increasingly heard by the international community," he insisted, arguing that Algeria and Polisario are forced to international legality and the last resolution of the Security Council.


"As we know them, they will certainly create other problems in the region and beyond," said Bourita, adding that Algiers, as usual, is working to mislead the public. Algerian and international public, by telling in the media that the resolution is favorable to it, while it can not be clearer.


Asked about if Algeria would sit at the negotiating table, the minister stressed that the objective of Morocco is that the process involves the real actors.


"A real momentum can not be disembodied, like a bubble disconnected from reality. Chancelleries do not know  Polisario; it is the ambassador of Algeria which comes to them on the eve of a vote on the issue of the Moroccan Sahara at the Security Council, "he argued, noting that no reasonable person can believe that the issue can be settled without Algeria.


"In 2007, we were assured that Algeria could help from the outside. After 13 rounds of negotiation in Manhasset, we saw that Polisario could hardly decide the menu of its meals. During the negotiations, on the other hand, it was unable to resolve anything on its own, "he concluded.


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