Morocco defends its proposal for the Sahara as the only way out at the UN

The Moroccan ambassador to the United Nations defended that the question of Western Sahara should not form part of the discussions of the Decolonisation Committee
Atalayar_primer ministro marruecos

AFP/JOHANNES EISELE  -   Morocco's Prime Minister Saad-Eddine El Othmani addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly

Morocco has once again defended before the UN its proposal for autonomy for Western Sahara as the only way out of the conflict in the former Spanish colony, a crisis which in recent weeks has raised tensions between Rabat and Madrid.

The Moroccan ambassador to the United Nations, Omar Hilale, stressed that this option is the only feasible one and that it has been recognised as "serious and credible" by the UN Security Council.

"Morocco reiterates that the realistic, pragmatic, lasting and compromise political solution demanded by the Security Council can only be achieved within the framework of the sovereignty, territorial and national integrity of the Kingdom," Hilale said in a speech to the UN Decolonisation Committee.

The Moroccan diplomat also highlighted the growing international support for its position, especially with the "historic proclamation" of the United States, which last December, under the administration of Donald Trump, recognised Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.

Atalayar_Puesto fronterizo entre Marruecos y Mauritania en Guerguerat
AFP/FADEL SENNA - Moroccan-Mauritanian border post at Guerguerat, Western Sahara

According to Hilale, Morocco remains committed to the political process that the UN is trying to push forward, but which has been stalled since the resignation two years ago of the organisation's last special envoy for the conflict, the German Horst Köhler.

Since then, the post has been vacant due to the impossibility of finding a name that receives the approval of all the parties involved, according to the UN itself.

Hilale also argued that the issue of Western Sahara should not be part of the discussions in the Decolonisation Committee and should only be dealt with in the Security Council.

The Moroccan ambassador stressed that the Sahara has no similarities with other territories on the list, including Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands and Puerto Rico, among others.

The Decolonisation Committee on Monday heard numerous petitioners who, as every year, defended the theses of Morocco or of the Polisario Front, which is demanding the holding of the referendum on self-determination promoted by the United Nations decades ago and which has never taken place.

 Atalayar_Un vehículo de las fuerzas armadas reales en el paso fronterizo entre Marruecos y Mauritania en Guerguerat
AFP/FADEL SENNA - A Royal Armed Forces vehicle at the border crossing between Morocco and Mauritania in Guerguerat

The Polisario representative to the UN, Sidi Omar, denounced during the meeting that the international community has allowed the Moroccan "occupation" to continue blocking the referendum and has chosen to turn a blind eye to the "human rights violations" committed by Rabat.

"The people of Western Sahara, under the leadership of the Polisario Front, are saying today loud and clear that enough is enough", said Omar, who assured that the Saharawis are "committed to peace, but will never give up their right to self-determination".

In recent weeks, Spain and Morocco have experienced a crisis over the passage of thousands of people to Ceuta, with Rabat demanding from Madrid "an unambiguous clarification of its choices, its decisions and its positions" on the Sahara issue.