Khalihenna calls on the Polisario and Algeria to give up impossible claims
Morocco called, here Sunday, upon the Algerian-backed separatist movement "Polisario" and Algeria to give up "unworkable claims" and show good faith in negotiations to move forward towards a consensus-based political solution to the 32-year Sahara dispute.
The call was made by the Chairman of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS), Khalihenna Ould Errachid, in a statement to the press in Manhasset which hosts the fourth round of UN-sponsored negotiations.
Mr. Ould Errachid deplored the fact that the Polisario and Algeria have not, so far, presented a proposal likely to help reach the sought solution, hoping that this round will be "a stage enabling to make a headway towards reaching an agreement acceptable by all the parties." He also deplored that the Polisario does not have the necessary leeway to make decisions, due to its subordination to Algeria which is not willing to reach a political solution.
The Moroccan official recalled that it was Morocco which has created this fresh dynamic in the dossier by presenting an autonomy initiative that meets the aspirations of the Sahrawi population, and conforms to the expectations of the international community and the Security Council.
Morocco, he said, engages in the new round in good faith and with full readiness to come up with a final solution to the dispute in conformity with the Security Council resolutions 1754 and 1783.
Notwithstanding the latest provocations of Polisario in the buffer zone (in an allusion to the recent so-called congress held by the Polisario in Tifariti, a buffer zone at the border with Algeria), Morocco continues to stretch out to the other in a bid to settle this issue through negotiations. He insisted, however, that the north African country will never make any concession with regard to its inalienable historical rights to sovereignty and territorial integrity along with its rights to lifting the blockade imposed on its nationals held in the Tindouf camps (south west of Algeria) since half a century now, in blatant violation of human rights.
The fourth round of negotiations is due to start in earnest on Monday through Tuesday. On the eve of this round, Moroccan Interior Minister, Chakib Benmoussa, who leads the Moroccan delegation to the negotiations, said that Morocco continues to reach out to the other party (the Polisario separatists) to achieve together a solution to the Sahara dispute within the framework of the North African country's proposed autonomy to the territory.
In addition to Mr. Benmoussa, the Moroccan delegation includes Foreign Affairs Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri, Chairman of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS) Khalihenna Ould Errachid, chief of Morocco’s intelligence (DGED) Yassine Mansouri, super governor of the province of Oued Dahab Mohamed Saleh Tamek, and CORCAS Secretary General Maoulainine Khallihenna. Experts and high-level officials from Morocco’s Southern Provinces accompany the delegation.
Mr. Benmoussa insisted that Morocco's proposal constitutes a realistic platform for a final settlement of the 32-year dispute, making it clear that Morocco, firmly resolute to make an end of this conflict, “will accept nothing but autonomy” and is prepared to discuss its details with the other party.
For his part, Morocco’s Ambassador to the UN, El Mostafa Sahel, deplored the fact that the other parties (the Polisario and Algeria) are not willing to engage in the process triggered by Morocco’s autonomy proposal which has enjoyed the support of the International Community, reiterating Rabat’s resolve to preserve its territorial integrity and defend its interests.
The dispute over the Sahara dates back to 1976 when the Polisario started claiming its independence. The former Spanish colony was retrieved by Morocco in 1975 under the Madrid Accord.
News and events relating to Western Sahara issue / Corcas