"I recall France's historic, clear and constant support for the Moroccan autonomy plan. This plan has been on the table since 2007. Now it's time to move forward," said Nicolas de Rivière, France's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, on Monday, in explaining his country's vote in favor of resolution 2703, under which the Security Council extended MINURSO's mandate for a further year.
This resolution once again confirms the pre-eminence of the Moroccan autonomy initiative in resolving the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara.
"France welcomes the adoption of the resolution renewing MINURSO's mandate for a further year," said De Rivière, who reiterated his country's "full support" for the efforts of the UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy "with a view to the resumption of the round tables.”
The diplomat added that France "encourages all parties to commit to a pragmatic, realistic and lasting solution based on compromise.”
While praising the work of MINURSO, which "plays a key role in the stability of the region and is helping to create the conditions for the resumption of political consultations,” the French diplomat reiterated his country's concern about ceasefire violations.
In a clear message to the "polisario" militias, whose violations and obstructions were denounced by the UN Secretary-General in his latest report, the French ambassador called on "those responsible for these violations to fully implement the ceasefire agreement in order to facilitate the continuation of the political process.”
In his latest annual report to the Security Council on the Sahara, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres protested against the "polisario's" repeated violations and obstructions to MINURSO's freedom of movement and operational and logistical activities.
Guterres denounced the "polisario" restrictions that prevent the UN mission from maintaining a safe and reliable logistical and resupply chain to its team-sites, warning that these obstructions directly threaten MINURSO's ability to maintain its presence on the ground.
News and events on Western Sahara issue/ CORCAS