Trump's recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara has legal and political impact

Statements by Nasser Bourita, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Morocco
Atalayar_Nasser Bourita

PHOTO/REUTERS  -   Nasser Bourita, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Morocco

The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, declared "that the recognition by the United States of Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara represents a key and extremely important turning point in the process of Morocco's territorial recovery".

The minister added that "The important thing is that the great world power and one of the permanent members of the Security Council that has a lot of influence on international politics, this power recognises, for the first time, Morocco's sovereignty over the Sahara".

President Donald Trump has likewise done so through a proclamation that has a very clear legal and political impact. The recognition was made by a presidential decree addressed to the entire US administration.

In addition, it is a text that will be broken down into operational measures. "Therefore, the permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations is informing the Secretary General, the members of the Security Council and other members of the United Nations of this American position".

Bourita pointed out that "in the same proclamation, the US President has stressed that the United States will open a consulate in the city of Dakhla. Washington has confirmed through this decision that it will support the process of economic and social development throughout the Moroccan territory and even in the Saharan provinces".

Bourita considers that "what has happened is an achievement of three years of direct and permanent contacts between His Majesty King Mohammed VI and influential members of the American administration. It is a historic event for Morocco".

Likewise, the Moroccan minister does not rule out any link between America's recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara and the decision to resume diplomatic relations with Israel.

In this regard, Bourita recalled that "Morocco has always played a key role in all stages of the peace process in the Middle East. Furthermore, King Mohammed VI, as Prince of the Believers, has religious ties with the Moroccan Muslims and Jews living in Moroccan territory. It should be noted that Morocco is the only Arab country whose constitution recognises Judaism as part of the Moroccan identity, not forgetting that there is a Jewish community living in Morocco that enjoys all its rights, namely synagogues, courts, schools and religious festivals. Many Moroccans of the Jewish religion live outside Morocco. In Israel alone, more than 700,000 Jews of Moroccan origin live and come to visit Morocco frequently".

Bourita stressed that 'His Majesty King Mohammed VI recalled, during his conversation with President Donald Trump, the pillars of the Moroccan position towards this conflict, pointing out that Morocco is committed to the solution of two states, one Israeli and the other Palestinian, and that Morocco supports the peace process through direct dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis. On the other hand, the King, as chairman of the Alquds committee, has always supported the preservation of the Arab-Islamic identity of the holy city of Jerusalem".

Bourita stressed that "what Morocco is going to do with Israel are three things:

  • Allow Israeli airlines to fly over and land, as the text says, because every year we have between 50,000 and 70,000 Moroccan-Israeli visitors who come on religious holidays.
  • To grant permits for the transport of Moroccan Jewish community and Israeli tourists to Morocco.
  • Resume diplomatic relations, including the reopening of liaison offices, and develop economic cooperation relations.

Everyone remembers that the liaison office was opened in 1994 after Oslo and the Madrid Conference, closed in 2000 and will be reopened there, in addition to the fact that the office still exists and that the building is still owned by the Israeli state".