Rabat, June 16th, 2021 - President of the National Assembly of Serbia Ivica Dačić reiterated, on Wednesday in Rabat, his country's position in support of the territorial integrity of the Kingdom.

"Serbia, which refuses the undermining of its territorial integrity, also refuses the undermining of the territorial integrity of Morocco", underlined Dačić during his meeting with the speaker of the House of Advisors Hakim Benchamach, noting that this issue cannot be the subject of blackmail.

According to a press release from the upper house, the Serbian official also stressed that his country aspires to strengthen its cooperation with Morocco in various fields, particularly the economic and commercial ones, to raise it to the level of the excellent political relations uniting the two countries.

He also insisted on the need to further develop relations of friendship and bilateral cooperation with a view to a solid partnership, calling for continued regular coordination and mutual support within regional and international organizations, in the service of the interests of both countries.

The Serbian official also underlined the importance of raising the bilateral relations to the level of a true partnership, encompassing the political, economic and cultural fields and which will serve the higher interests of the two countries and the two friendly peoples.

In this regard, Dačić referred to the promising opportunities that Morocco offers thanks to its geostrategic position, with a view to establishing a mutually beneficial partnership.

For his part, Benchamach said that the shared views on the territorial integrity of the two countries will pave the way for the establishment of partnerships in several areas, the strengthening of bilateral cooperation and the exploration of opportunities to strengthen economic and cultural ties.

He highlighted the centuries-old historical relationship between the two countries, recalling the celebration last May of the 65th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.

The speaker of the House of Advisors recalled the role of the late HM Hassan II and the former Yugoslav President Josip Tito in the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), as well as the role of the two countries in the liberation of certain African states from occupation.

Benchamach further expressed his gratitude to Serbia for its steadfast position supporting the territorial integrity of the Kingdom and the Moroccan autonomy initiative, it added.

During the meeting, the two sides stressed the importance of strengthening parliamentary relations to unify positions and reconcile views on several bilateral and multilateral issues, stressing the role of friendship and cooperation groups as a framework for examining issues of common interest, the source concluded.

(Source: MAP)

United Nations (New York), June 17th, 2021 - Gambia reiterated, before the UN C-24, its "full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Morocco over all its territories, including the Moroccan Sahara."

"Gambia's government recognizes the principle of sovereignty as a fundamental international standard that cannot be ignored in the settlement of this dispute. In this regard, the Gambian government reaffirms its full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Morocco over all its territories, including the Moroccan Sahara," Ambassador Lamin Faati, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of The Gambia to the UN told the Committee.

In this regard, he recalled that his country has opened in January 2020, a Consulate General in the Moroccan Sahara "under this international standard" of the sovereignty of states over the territory.

Referring to the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Gambian diplomat welcomed the efforts undertaken by Morocco to expand the national vaccination campaign to the entire population of the Sahara to contain the pandemic, stressing that this commendable act does not surprise anyone "because it only reflects the long-standing commitment of Morocco to the socio-economic development of the Sahara region."

Faati recalled, "the efforts and investments made by Morocco for the human development of the Sahara population as part of the framework of the New Development Model of the Moroccan Sahara launched in 2015."

Regarding the political process, the Gambia reiterated "its full support for the ongoing political process, under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, aimed at forging a political solution based on realism, compromise, and perseverance to resolve this dispute."

The diplomat stressed that the Gambia "encourages the favorable consideration of the autonomy initiative presented by the Kingdom of Morocco as a viable compromise solution," saying that this initiative reflects "a strong desire to resolve this regional dispute under international law.

Faati also expressed the hope that the next regional seminar of the C-24 will build on the achievements of the latest in-person seminar held in May 2019, which was marked by the participation of democratically elected representatives of the Sahara region, and accelerate the pace of the political process for the resolution of this regional dispute.

(Source: MAP)

New York (United Nations), June 16th, 2021 - Saudi Arabia has reaffirmed, before the United Nations Committee of 24, its support for the autonomy plan in the Moroccan Sahara within the framework of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reaffirms its support for the autonomy initiative in the Moroccan Sahara within the framework of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Morocco, in accordance with international law, the UN Charter and the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly,” said the representative of Saudi Arabia at the C-24 meeting, which holds its annual session in New York (June 14- 25).

The Moroccan autonomy initiative, he recalled, has been welcomed by the UN Security Council in all its resolutions since 2007, while reiterating his country's support for Morocco's efforts aimed at achieving a political, realistic and consensual solution to the Moroccan Sahara issue, on the basis of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and under the aegis of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Saudi Arabia, he stressed, welcomes in this regard the holding of two round tables in Geneva which brought together Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario, calling on the four parties to continue on this way to achieve a solution to this conflict which has lasted too long.

The Saudi diplomat also welcomed the participation of elected officials from the Moroccan Sahara in the sessions of the United Nations Committee of 24 and in the two round tables held in Geneva.
He also voiced his country's support for the efforts undertaken by Morocco to find a solution to this regional dispute, while emphasizing the importance of realism and the spirit of compromise in this regard.

The settlement of this dispute will contribute to the strengthening of peace and stability throughout the region, he pointed out.

The diplomat also insisted on the full respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom, while highlighting Morocco's efforts made to promote the social and economic development of the Moroccan Sahara region. He also commended the important achievements of Morocco in the area of human rights and the vast COVID-19 vaccination campaign conducted by the Kingdom.

The Saudi diplomat also praised the Kingdom's respect for the ceasefire in the Sahara as well as the peaceful intervention of Morocco which allowed the restoration of free movement in the passage of Guerguarate following its blockage in November 2020 by the armed militias of the Polisario.

(Source: MAP)

New York (United Nations), June 15th, 2021 - Morocco's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Omar Hilale told the Committee of 24 of the UN General Assembly that social and economic development is an inalienable right in the Moroccan Sahara.

"Article 1 of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development states that +the right to development is an inalienable human right+. This right is legitimate. It is inherent to every human being. The United Nations does not make its exercize conditional on any status, political solution, or geographical location. Moreover, this right must not be the hostage of a regional dispute, nor linked to a political settlement process, nor fall victim to the maneuvers of a separatist armed group," Hilale told the Committee.

"Aware of its responsibility towards all its citizens, Morocco has undertaken huge efforts to ensure the social and economic development and political empowerment of its Southern Provinces. Indeed, thanks to the farsightedness of HM King Mohammed VI, the Moroccan Sahara has become a model of social and economic development both in its region and in Africa, particularly since the launch, in 2015, of the New Development Model with a budget of more than 8 billion dollars," Hilale explained.

In this regard, the ambassador told the Committee "that with more than 600 structuring projects, the development strategy of Morocco in its Sahara has made the southern provinces a real driver of local, regional and continental development. This development includes road, maritime and health infrastructures, industrial hubs, agricultural and ecotourism development, promotion of research, training, the Atlantic-Dakhla port, wind farms, as well as the desalination plant for water irrigation and the Tiznit-Laayoune-Dakhla expressway project."

He added that by investing in solar energy, the southern provinces of the Kingdom have been able to boost sustainable growth through a joint mobilization of the State and public and private institutions in the region. "Moreover, citizens from the Sahara manage affairs in this region of Morocco in accordance with their right to development," he noted.

Hilale highlighted the participation of two elected officials from the southern provinces in this annual session of the C-24 since 2018, namely Ghalla Bahiya, Vice President of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region and M'hamed Abba, Vice President of the region of Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra.

"The two representatives who are present with us today were democratically elected by their brothers and sisters. Their stories are a vivid testimony of their tireless work on the ground to ensure the development of their region," he said.

In addition, the Moroccan ambassador noted that "following the blockage by the armed separatist militia of the "Polisario" for more than three weeks of the crossing point of Guerguarate between the borders of Morocco and Mauritania, Morocco undertook, on November 13, 2020, an action to restore, once for all, the free movement of people and goods in this crossing point."

"On this occasion, I would like to reiterate to these militias of the "polisario", who behave like bandits, that they will never again set foot in this part of the Moroccan Sahara," Hilale said, adding that this peaceful action of Morocco, which has allowed to definitively open the crossing point, which connects Morocco to Mauritania and the rest of Africa, has been greatly welcomed both by the population of the Southern Provinces of the Kingdom as well as by several countries and regional and international organizations.

With regards to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Moroccan diplomat stressed that "Morocco has adopted urgent measures to curb the spread of the virus in all cities, including the Moroccan Sahara. Hence, the Southern Provinces have one of the lowest rates of infection at the national level."

(Source: MAP)

New York (United Nations), June 15th, 2021 - The United Arab Emirates reaffirmed, before the Committee of 24 of the United Nations, its "full support" for the sovereignty of Morocco over its Sahara, as well as to "all the measures that the Kingdom is undertaking to defend its territorial integrity and protect its citizens".

The Emirates "supports the autonomy initiative within the framework of the sovereignty of Morocco and its territorial integrity, as a solution in accordance with international law, the UN Charter and the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council", underlined, Monday in New York, the Emirati representative at this meeting.

He also welcomed the holding of the two round tables in Geneva in 2018 and 2019, while calling for the continuation of the negotiations launched in 2007 under the aegis of the United Nations.

The Emirati diplomat recalled that "as part of the long-standing and strong relations and the strategic partnership which bind the two brotherly countries, the United Arab Emirates has opened a consulate in the city of Laayoune, in the southern provinces of the Kingdom of Morocco, on November 4, 2020."

(Source: MAP)

The Emirates welcomes the initiatives undertaken by Morocco in the area of human rights, as well as its cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"We also welcome the efforts made by Morocco to develop the Moroccan Sahara region and improve economic and social conditions, in particular the launch by His Majesty King Mohammed VI of the New Development Model for the Southern Provinces", the Emirati diplomat concluded. 

New York (United Nations), June 15th, 2021 - The Kingdom of Bahrain reiterated, before the United Nations Committee of 24 (C-24), its support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Morocco over its Sahara, while welcoming the “serious and credible efforts” of the Kingdom aimed at achieving a political solution to the Moroccan Sahara issue on the basis of the autonomy initiative, which represents “the fair and sustainable solution” to this dispute.

"Given its unwavering position of support for Morocco, the Kingdom of Bahrain inaugurated last December a consulate general in the city of Laayoune in the Moroccan Sahara", said the representative of Bahrain to the C-24 meeting.

Bahrain, he added, expresses "its support and solidarity with Morocco for the defense of its sovereignty, its rights, and the safety and security of its territory and of its citizens at the Moroccan crossing point of El Guerguarate within the framework of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Morocco, and with respect for international legality”.

The diplomat also praised the efforts made by the UN Secretary-General aimed at reaching a lasting political and compromise-based solution, within the framework of Moroccan sovereignty, for the settlement of this dispute.

(Source: MAP)

Rabat, June 9th, 2021 - Hungary on Wednesday reaffirmed its support for the autonomy plan presented by Morocco and the efforts carried out under the exclusive auspices of the United Nations to achieve a realistic, pragmatic, lasting, political and compromise-based solution to the Sahara issue.

In a joint declaration signed in Rabat by the Moroccan minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó, who is on an official visit to Morocco, Budapest reiterates its support for "the Autonomy Plan, presented to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on April 11, 2007" and to "the efforts of development undertaken by Morocco in the region."

Hungary also welcomes "the serious and credible efforts of Morocco, as a regional hub of stability and a privileged partner for development in Africa," the document added.

Morocco and Hungary underline their positive and constructive role in maintaining stability, security, and peace in their respective regions and stress their commitment to these principles as well as to a peaceful resolution of conflicts and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of States, the Joint Declaration said.

(Source: MAP)

Rabat, June 04th, 2021 - The Seychelles Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Louis Sylvestre Radegonde reiterated, Friday, his country's support for the Moroccan national cause and for the autonomy initiative proposed by the Kingdom.

During a videoconference meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita, the Seychelles minister expressed his support for the Moroccan initiative for the negotiation of an autonomy statute, within the framework of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Morocco.

For his part, Bourita reiterated his thanks for the unwavering support of the Seychelles for the Moroccan cause on different occasions, at the level of regional and international bodies, said a statement by the Ministry.

This meeting, which is part of the strengthening of ties of friendship and brotherhood between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Seychelles, aimed to give a new dynamic to the excellent Moroccan-Seychelles relations which have experienced a positive development since 2008.

In this regard, Bourita and Radegonde welcomed the success of the visit to Seychelles, in April 2019, of a high-level Moroccan delegation that has ensured better preparation of the first session of the Great Joint Commission of Cooperation between the two countries.

In addition, Radegonde expressed his country's support for Morocco's candidacy for the position of Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation within the AU Commission, as well as for the post of non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the period 2028-2029.

(Source: MAP)

Madrid, June 1st, 2021 - These are the first statements of the victims, following the appearance this Tuesday of the war criminal Brahim Ghali before the Spanish National Court:

Fadel Breica (kidnapped and tortured by the Polisario between June 18, 2019, and November 10, 2019): "The appearance today before the court of this war criminal who tortured and murdered hundreds of people is a victory for his victims who demand justice. The fact that the so-called Brahim Ghali, responsible for serious crimes for 50 years, is in the dock is a step forward towards the restoration of justice. This appearance is only the start of a trial which will also include the other leaders of the separatist Polisario gang. We have confidence in the independence of the Spanish judiciary, which will take the appropriate measures to hold this criminal accountable for his heinous acts."

Pedro Ignacio Altamirano (victim of death threats made by the Polisario): "this appearance is only the beginning of a process to do justice to the victims of a group terrorist involved in acts of genocide and torture. This case should pave the way for the trial of the other criminals in the Polisario leadership who are responsible for the crimes committed against the dissidents, but also against the population living in the Tindouf camps in inhumane conditions."

Dahi Aguai (former Polisario detainee): "The appearance of the leader of the Polisario militias for the first time before the Spanish justice is good news for the victims of this torturer. It is the result of several years of relentless efforts to do justice to victims and shed light on the serious crimes committed by this convict. This is an important development in the process of revealing the true face of this criminal before the Spanish public opinion and courts. We have confidence in the independence of the Spanish judiciary so that the so-called Brahim Ghali will be tried."

(Source: MAP)

Rabat, May 31st, 2021 - The reaction of the head of the Spanish government "rejecting the Moroccan statement by linking it to migration" comes as a "great surprise", said on Monday the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad.

Morocco is not used of getting involved in controversies over statements by senior officials from foreign countries. However, today's comment by the head of the Spanish government, rejecting the Moroccan statement by linking it to migration, comes as a great surprise, said the ministry in a press release.

These statements call for the following clarifications, the same source said.

"We do not know which Moroccan statement the head of the Spanish government is referring to. All the latest statements by Moroccan diplomatic officials (including the minister, His Majesty's Ambassador to Madrid and the Director General) do not mention the migration issue," said the ministry, adding that its statement issued on Monday, and widely quoted by the Spanish media outlets, addresses briefly the migratory question, and its does so to recall the good cooperation.

"It is therefore legitimate to wonder if the head of the Spanish government has read the various statements inherent in this crisis and in particular that of today", wondered the ministry, stressing that it is not up to foreign officials to specify what Moroccan officials should talk about.

In Morocco, the management of the crisis concerns several state institutions and departments, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which only represents, within the framework of its prerogatives, the national position at the diplomatic and media levels, said the same source.

Recalling that Morocco has repeatedly stressed that the bilateral crisis is not linked to the migration issue, the ministry explained that "the genesis and the underlying reasons behind the crisis are now well known, notably to the Spanish public opinion".

Migration should not be a pretext to distract attention from the real causes of the bilateral crisis, the ministry concluded.

(Source: MAP)