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Thursday, June 20, 2024
King's Speeches

Morocco will accept nothing but autonomy within the kingdom's sovereignty

King Mohammed VI on Tuesday made it clear that Morocco will accept nothing but autonomy for its Southern Provinces (the Sahara) under the Kingdom's sovereignty.


 "Whatever the nature of the consensual solution to which a serious, comprehensive, strategic negotiating process might lead, Morocco, its King and people, will not accept anything but autonomy, within the framework of a single, unified State," The monarch said in a nationwide speech marking the 32nd anniversary of the Green March.

    Morocco celebrates every November 6 the anniversary of the retrieval of the Sahara through a peaceful march in which no less than 350.000 people, holding the holy Koran in one hand and Morocco's flag in the other, marched into the desert territory prompting the Spanish army to leave.

    "The Kingdom of Morocco is prepared to pursue in-depth negotiations and is open to all constructive proposals. It will seek to enhance the confidence needed so that negotiations with all the parties concerned may lead to a lasting solution to this artificial dispute,” the monarch said in his speech.

    Morocco presented in April a proposal to grant substantial autonomy to its Southern Provinces, known as the Sahara, in a bid to put an end to the 32 year-old dispute over the former Spanish colony. Spain ceded the Sahara to the North African country in 1975 under the Madrid Accords but the Polisario separatists, backed by Algeria, are seeking independence of the territory.

    Morocco’s proposal was presented to the United Nations which facilitated two rounds of talks between the parties in Manhassets (outskirts of New York) in June and August. A third round is scheduled but no date or venue has been set yet.

    In his speech, King Mohammed VI also made it clear that Morocco “will not discuss any deceptive, treacherous proposal which seeks to undermine its full, non-negotiable sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity.”

    “Our practical efforts, he said, were based on a responsible, realistic approach. They have enjoyed wide international support, and as a result, the United Nations has adopted a new approach to our foremost national issue. It has, once and for all, abandoned all previous unfruitful plans, thus paving the way for the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1754, which singled out the Moroccan Initiative and called it "serious and credible".

    He recalled the Security Council’s resolution that called upon the parties concerned to enter into negotiations with a view to achieving a lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, under the aegis of the United Nations.

    Morocco, he explained, entered resolutely and in good faith into the two rounds of the Manhasset negotiations. “This constructive approach received strong support from the United Nations General Assembly, as well as from the Security Council, through its latest resolution 1783.”

Here follows the full text of the royal speech:

Praise be to God                       Peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin

 

My loyal subjects,

Today we are celebrating the 32nd anniversary of the glorious Green March, a landmark in our history which illustrates the symbiosis between the Throne and the people as well as their common attachment to the Moroccan Sahara. I shall see to it that this glorious event remains forever a source of inspiration which enhances full-fledged citizenship and encourages all Moroccans to participate, on equal footing, in building a country dedicated to unity, democracy and the pursuit of development.

We remember, with deep reverence, the architect of that glorious event, my august father His late Majesty King Hassan II, may he rest in peace. This is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to the Green March oath as well as to the mutual bond of the Beia between me and all components of our nation, especially my loyal subjects belonging to the tribes and populations of the Moroccan Sahara.

I should like to praise them for cooperating so readily with the authorities and with the security and military forces to preserve the region’s security, stability and territorial integrity, and for contributing to its development and progress. Morocco believes deeply in the justness of its cause and has always been willing to take constructive measures to resolve the artificial dispute over the Moroccan Sahara. Such an attitude stems from its commitment to the Arab Maghreb, from its belief in brotherly ties and neighbourly relations between the Maghreb’s five Member States, as well as from its keen desire to preserve stability in the region.

Hence, amid unanimous consensus, and using a consultative approach at both regional and national levels, Morocco presented a bold autonomy initiative which is consistent with global standards and international legality, and which takes into account the region’s social and cultural specificities.

Our practical efforts were based on a responsible, realistic approach. They have enjoyed wide international support, and as a result, the United Nations has adopted a new approach to our foremost national issue. It has, once and for all, abandoned all previous unfruitful plans, thus paving the way for the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1754, which singled out the Moroccan Initiative and called it “serious and credible”.

Building on the dynamism created by this Initiative and the interest it aroused, the Security Council called upon the parties concerned to enter into negotiations with a view to achieving a lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, under the aegis of the United Nations.

Thus, Morocco entered resolutely and in good faith into the two rounds of the Manhasset negotiations. This constructive approach received strong support from the United Nations General Assembly, as well as from the Security Council, through its latest resolution 1783.

The Kingdom of Morocco is prepared to pursue in-depth negotiations and is open to all constructive proposals. It will seek to enhance the confidence needed so that negotiations with all the parties concerned may lead to a lasting solution to this artificial dispute. My country will do all it can to achieve a successful outcome. Our goal is to revitalize the Maghreb Union and to devote the energies of Maghreb peoples to achieving development and taking up the real challenges relating to progress and regional and international security, in a spirit of concord, solidarity and integration.

Whatever the nature of the consensual solution to which a serious, comprehensive, strategic negotiating process might lead, Morocco, its King and people, will not accept anything but autonomy, within the framework of a single, unified State. Morocco will not discuss any deceptive, treacherous proposal which seeks to undermine its full, non-negotiable sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity.


My loyal subjects,

The democratic, development-oriented process I am spearheading requires the participation of all Moroccans, wherever they may be, in a spirit of strong commitment to our national identity and to responsible citizenship. My regular field visits and my tireless efforts to make sure my citizens at home enjoy a dignified life are equaled only by the special importance I attach to the conditions of our beloved fellow citizens who live abroad.

I am keen to help them fulfill their legitimate aspirations and to strengthen the bonds they have with the homeland, especially family bonds and spiritual and cultural ties. A gradual, comprehensive approach will be adopted to ensure their full-fledged, democratic participation in all aspects of public life, and to defend their rights and dignity in their host country.

I have decided, in this regard, to set up a council for our expatriate community. It will be a representative, efficient, credible institution, which will be placed under my supervision and which will receive my personal attention.

To this end, I have asked the Advisory Council on Human Rights to give an advisory opinion on this, and I wish to commend the chair and members of the Council, especially the ad-hoc committee, for their dedicated efforts to come up with a general, clear-sighted project, through a broad consultative process.

I have looked closely at the recommendations the Council has submitted to me, keeping in mind three considerations.

Firstly, it is my deep conviction that elections are the only method for selecting members of a truly representative body. However, elections would remain purely formal if they were not based on credibility, competence, fair competition and the mobilization of our expatriate community.

Secondly, direct appointments should, for fundamental reasons, be avoided. We are dealing with a representative institution, not administrative or political positions. Therefore, it is by means of election that this institution will be set up.

Thirdly, given the pertinence and truthfulness of the recommendations made by the Advisory Council on Human Rights, I am keen to respond favorably to them.

I agree with the conclusion which was reached by the Council after in-depth studies and extensive consultations that it would be irresponsible to hold improvised elections without making sure the required conditions of transparency, impartiality and true representation are met. They are necessary if one wants to achieve the lofty objective sought through the setting up of this institution which will represent our beloved expatriate community.

Accordingly, I have decided to accept the Council’s proposal and set up this institution with an initial membership to cover a four-year transitional period. I expect the new institution, in keeping with the afore-mentioned principles, to give priority to determining ways and means for achieving our ultimate objective in this respect, which is to hold responsible elections and ensure wide participation in them, instead of opting for easy solutions.

Consistent with my consultative approach, and given my esteem for the Advisory Council on Human Rights because of its integrity, I have decided to ask its ad-hoc committee to submit to me, as soon as possible, objective proposals regarding individuals and associations qualified to serve as members of the proposed institution. Candidates should be known for their contributions and for their defense of the rights of our expatriate community.

To ensure efficiency and synergy, I have decided that the proposed institution should be made up of members who will be selected on the basis of transparent, representative criteria, and who will have advisory powers.  It will also include the government agencies and immigration institutions concerned, who will serve in an advisory capacity.

The institution must have a homogeneous, balanced membership, which takes into consideration appropriate gender representation as well as national, regional and continental geographic distribution. All three generations should be represented, as should my loyal subjects from the Moroccan Jewish community.

A Dahir (Royal Decree) will be issued whereby this institution will be set up and given extensive powers to enable it to submit proposals regarding all public matters and policies which concern the expatriate community, especially with respect to religious and cultural questions relating to identity. This institution will also have a mandate to make proposals to defend the rights of Moroccans who live abroad, enhance their contribution to the development of their towns, cities and the homeland in general, and help them promote Morocco’s image abroad as well as its relations with the host countries concerned.

The creation of this institution, which I intend to inaugurate before the end of the year, should be viewed as an integral part of a thorough, rational review of our immigration policy. The aim is to develop a global, harmonious immigration policy which puts an end to overlapping and to the multiplicity of institutions. Each government agency or institution should fulfill its mission and complement the work of the other bodies concerned, regarding the proper management of immigration issues and, more broadly, the promising, democratic process I am resolutely spearheading.

My loyal subjects,

I shall see to it that the Green March spirit remains alive in our hearts. Indeed, the Green March should continue to inspire us and consolidate the symbiosis between the Throne and the people. It should help enhance the people’s mobilization and determination to preserve our country’s unity and sovereignty, from the north to the south, promote true democracy and achieve human development. May our country remain strong and invulnerable, and may our citizens enjoy a dignified life.

I pray that the Almighty grant us success and consolidate our unity.

Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.


 

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