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Thursday 9 August 2018

Security Council Members Unanimously Support Political Solution to Dispute over Moroccan Sahara

Vocal synthesis
No Solution to Moroccan Sahara Issue without Consulting Morocco and without the Involvement of Algeria

UN Security Council Asks Horst Köhler to Consult Morocco on Relaunch of the Political Process

At the end of the Security Council's closed consultations on Wednesday afternoon on the Moroccan Sahara issue, Britain’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Jonathan Allen, whose country chairs the Council for this month, made a brief statement to press correspondents on the discussions between the Personal Envoy of the Secretary General, Horst Köhler, and members of the Security Council.

"President Horst Köhler got a lot of support from the Council for his approach and for his proposal to try and see if he can bring the parties together by the end of the year,” said Allen, adding that all 15 members “stressed the importance of consultations with everybody.”

Köhler is fully aware of "the need of prior and enhanced consultations with all the parties concerned, and I am sure he will do so, including as regards the modalities and the format and all the rest," the British diplomat pointed out.

This request of the Security Council to the Personal Envoy of the Secretary General took place following Morocco's request, as the Kingdom said that it will accept no idea or further step without its consultation and its prior approval.

Following Morocco's request, the members of the Security Council became aware that no solution to the Sahara Issue can be reached without the approval of Morocco.

For both Morocco and the members of the Security Council, the relaunch of the political process must take place in the framework of transparency, consultation and dialogue with all parties, particularly Morocco and Algeria.
MAP 09 August 2018

Horst Köhler, Security Council Members Satisfied with his Visit to Moroccan Sahara

UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for the Sahara, Horst Köhler, briefed the Security Council on Wednesday about his recent visit to the region and on the various contacts he made, particularly in the Moroccan Sahara, according to diplomatic sources in New York.

In this regard, Köhler expressed his appreciation for the efforts made by Morocco to ensure the success of this visit, during which he met, in complete freedom, all the interlocutors he had wished.

The Personal Envoy also said that he had met with the Presidents of the two regions of the Sahara as well as elected officials, Chioukhs and local dignitaries who have all expressed their support for the Moroccan autonomy initiative.

Several members of the Security Council also welcomed the conduct of this visit, which allowed the Personal Envoy to witness first-hand the progress and development achieved in the Moroccan Sahara.

It should be recalled that the officials of the region whom the Personal Envoy met were elected following the regional elections of September 4, 2015, and the legislative elections of October 7, 2016, which were considered democratic by thousands of national and international observers.

The Secretary-General's reports to the Security Council in 2016 and 2017 confirmed that the elections were conducted without incident and in a calm atmosphere.
MAP 09 August 2018

Security Council Members Unanimously Support Political Solution to Dispute over Moroccan Sahara

UN Security Council members have unanimously reaffirmed their strong support for a realistic and pragmatic solution based on compromise to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, in accordance with resolution 2414, adopted on 27 April 2018, according to diplomatic sources in New York.

This position was expressed during the Council's closed consultations held Wednesday afternoon, in which Personal Envoy Horst Köhler briefed the Council’s members about his visit to the region last June.

In this regard, members of the Council have expressed their support to the Moroccan autonomy initiative as a serious, credible and sustainable solution to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara. Other members expressed appreciation for Morocco's efforts for political empowerment and the economic and social development of the southern provinces.

The support, by the members of the United Nations Security Council, for the realistic, pragmatic and compromise political solution to this regional dispute is a further reaffirmation that the obsolete, outdated and unrealistic plans and proposals supported by Algeria and the "Polisario" are no longer possible.
MAP 09 August 2018

No Solution to Moroccan Sahara Issue without Consulting Morocco and without the Involvement of Algeria

The Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Moroccan Sahara, Horst Köhler, briefed on Wednesday the UN Security Council.

In his briefing, the Personal Envoy informed the members of the Security Council about his 2nd regional tour (June 23-July 1), which took him to Algeria and Mauritania, as well as to Morocco, where he visited Rabat on June 27, in addition to Laayoune, Smara and Dakhla (June 28-July 1).

According to diplomatic sources at the Security Council, the Personal Envoy expressed his thanks to the Moroccan authorities for facilitating his visit to the southern provinces, and enabling him to have access to the several people he wished to meet and to witness first-hand the economic and social development of the region.

Several members of the Council welcomed the atmosphere in which the regional tour of the Personal Envoy took place, in particular the visit to the Moroccan Sahara.

According to the same sources, the majority of the Council's members also expressed their satisfaction with the results of the various meetings and visits undertaken by the Personal Envoy, and called on him to continue working and interacting with all parties to maintain the momentum of the resumption of the process.

According to observers, the Moroccan authorities have always expressed Morocco's full cooperation with the United Nations for the relaunch of the political process, insisting on the precondition of a deep and comprehensive assessment of the content of the discussions between the Personal Envoy and the parties during his last regional tour and the need to pursue a transparent, responsible and serene dialogue in view of this resumption.

They also affirmed that there can be no solution to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara without consulting the Kingdom and without the involvement of Algeria, the main party responsible for the genesis and maintenance of this dispute.

In its resolution 2414 of 27 April 2018, the Security Council called on neighboring States, including Algeria, to make an important contribution to the political process and to engage further in the negotiations.

In this regard, MAP noted that many members of the Security Council insisted, during Wednesday's briefing, on the need to tread carefully, as part of the relaunch of the process, in consultation with the parties, and in particular Morocco, on all ideas and proposals.

It is worth to recall that Morocco is fully committed to the UN process, in accordance with the fundamentals of the Moroccan position as underlined in HM the King's speech on the occasion of the commemoration of the 42nd anniversary of the Green March, on November 6, 2017:

-'No' to any solution to the Sahara question other than within the framework of Morocco's full sovereignty over its Sahara and the Autonomy Initiative, which has been declared serious and credible by the international community.

-Draw lessons from past experience, for the problem is not so much finding a solution as determining the process that produces it; for this reason, all the parties that have concocted this dispute must fully shoulder their responsibility in order for a final solution to be reached.

-Ensure full compliance with the terms of reference adopted by the UN Security Council when addressing this artificial regional dispute, for the Security Council is the only international body tasked with overseeing the settlement process.

-Outright rejection of any transgression or attempt to infringe on Morocco’s legitimate rights or its best interests; rejection of any obsolete proposals designed to divert the settlement process from the set terms of reference, or to introduce or impose other issues which are dealt with by other relevant bodies.

MAP 09 August 2018