Praise be to God
Peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
My loyal subjects,
My beloved subjects from our cherished Saharan provinces,
It gives me great pleasure to meet, once again, with the sons of this treasured part of our Homeland, the more so that I shall be appointing, today, in this pristine city of Laayoune, the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs.
This move is a basic component of the efforts being made to foster the culture of dialogue, and thus pave the way for our citizens to help in this process and make practical proposals on all matters pertaining to our country’s territorial integrity, and to the economic, social and cultural development of our beloved southern provinces.
Building on the experience of the Council, in its initial set-up, I have decided to give fresh momentum to this organ, in its new composition, entrust it with a new mandate and endow it with an enhanced status, so that it may, together with public authorities and elected institutions, defend the Moroccanness of the Sahara, and express the legitimate aspirations of my beloved subjects.
To ensure credibility, efficiency and representation, I have seen to it the Council’s membership include tribal dignitaries and elected officials, who are known for their true patriotism and clear-sightedness. I also wanted the Council to be open to civil society and to the nation’s productive and promising resources, especially among women and youth, to whom I attach special importance.
I expect all members of the Council to get actively involved in a collective, harmonious action, which is likely to help preserve the nation’s achievements regarding the consolidation of the country’s national unity and territorial integrity. I therefore call on the government and on the institutions and authorities concerned to work hand in hand with the Council for an optimal implementation of its mission.
I also want you to turn the Council into an institution, which contributes effectively to the development of the southern provinces, and to make it a successful tool for rallying people and for making proposals, building on the genius of the valiant sons of the Sahara.
I urge you to propose initiatives for the return and integration of your fellow citizens held captive in the Tindouf camps, so that they may come back to their merciful, forgiving homeland. Indeed, Morocco guarantees them the freedom and dignity they need to contribute to the construction of their country, a nation that derives its strength from its unity and democratic system.
Given your patriotism and deep loyalty to the Kingdom’s immutable values, I ask you to serve as the mouthpiece of your brothers in international bodies and forums, shedding light on the just cause of our territorial integrity, and highlighting the achievements made by Morocco, as well as the reforms it has been introducing to forge ahead with sustainable human development and to promote democracy.
My loyal subjects,
The chief cause of our nation has been witnessing new developments ever since the United Nations reached the conclusion that the UN Settlement Plan was inapplicable. The need for a negotiated, political solution acceptable to all parties has thus become evident.
Responding favourably to this development, which enjoys the backing of both the international community and the United Nations, Morocco has consistently expressed readiness to help find a political solution that would enable the region’s inhabitants to manage their regional affairs themselves, within the framework of Morocco’s inalienable national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Such an equitable solution to this artificial dispute in the area would not only contribute to the emergence of an Arab Maghreb based on cooperation and shared prosperity, but it would also enhance peace and stability in the region.
This approach is in line with the relentless efforts I have been making, since acceding to the throne of my worthy predecessors, to achieve good governance, based on expanding people’s participation in the management of regional affairs, bringing about new elites capable of shouldering responsibility, and providing the legal and material means to achieve these objectives in order to serve citizens, preserve their dignity and foster public interest.
In keeping with the tradition of consulting the nation’s forces while forging ahead with the irreversible policy of democratic practice, I availed myself of the thirtieth anniversary of the glorious Green March to announce my decision to engage extensive consultations with political parties and with the sons of the regions concerned on the proposal Morocco intends to submit for self-rule in our southern provinces, as a final solution to the artificial dispute over the Moroccanness of our Sahara.
Much headway has been made regarding consultations with political parties, and I now wish to call on my loyal subjects, in our southern provinces, to engage a serious, careful reflection and put forward their views on the self-rule project, within the framework of the Kingdom’s sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity.
I am convinced this twofold consultation, at national and local levels, on such a vital issue for the Moroccan people, which is taking place in a climate of consensus and mobilization, will make it possible, in the not so distant future, to fashion a national, realistic perception for a self-rule formula that would enable the inhabitants of the Sahara to manage their regional affairs themselves, within the framework of democracy and the rule of law.
As the nation’s First Servant and guarantor of its unity and sovereignty, I will take a keen interest in your suggestions and provide for the conditions and means needed to enable you to discharge your mission as best you can. I pray that Almighty God guide your steps and grant you every success in serving the interests of our beloved country.
Before concluding, I should like to praise our Armed Forces, the Royal Gendarmerie, the National Security Force, the Auxiliary Forces and the local authorities for their courage, steadfastness and constant mobilization under my command to defend the homeland, its security and stability. I would like to emphasize that we shall not give up one inch of our beloved Sahara, nor a grain of its sand. This is the best illustration of our loyalty to the mutual bond of the Be’ia between the throne and the people, and to the everlasting vow of the glorious Green March.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh