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Friday, June 14, 2024
Written Press

 The Spanish Popular Party (PP) on Friday regretted the "radicalization" of the Polisario Front and warned that the Sahara conflict "could exhaust the international community."



  In a statement to the Spanish news agency "Servimedia", the spokesman of the PP Foreign Affairs Committee in Congress, Gustavo de Aristegui, said "the concept of autonomy is not incompatible with that of self-determination."

    De Aristegui referred to the statements of the United Nations Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for the Sahara, Peter van Walsum, in which he had rejected the option of independence of this region.

    "What we call for is a feasible solution, i.e. it should not be utopian and can be accepted by both [opposing] parties" "within the framework of the United Nations and international legality," said De Aristegui.

    "It is obvious," he said, "that the international community should stick to what the United Nations say," since the UN attitude "must be accepted".

    De Aristegui called for finding a “stable, lasting and peaceful” solution to a “conflict that could deteriorate and exhaust, not only the parties but also the international community,” which would undermine the stability of the region.

    However, he warned against a “radicalization” of the Polisario Front, which put forward its proposals with “extreme rigidity and inflexibility” at the last round of negotiations, held in Manhasset.

    In this respect, De Aristegui recommended the parties adopt more openness on “dialogue and negotiation”, as Peter Van Walsum himself has described the last four rounds of negotiation “as “sterile because there was a fixed position by the Polisario.”

    In addition, De Aristegui stressed that an agreement between Morocco and the Polisario, granting a “larger autonomy” to the region, “is not incompatible either with the concept of self-determination, nor with that of a referendum.”

    This concept of “self-determination does not necessarily mean independence” and is “a principle of international law” which can be applied “to decolonization processes,” said De Aristegui, so that “extreme nationalists” cannot “set out to these concepts in order to claim the independence of their territories against the majority opinion of the inhabitants of these territories,” he concluded.

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