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Moroccan King: 2017 Marks Return to Sahara Dispute Settlement Principles | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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King Mohammed VI of Morocco reviews a guard of honor at the National palace during his state visit to Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, November 19, 2016. (Reuters)

Rabat – The year 2017 has been the year of “clarity” and return to the standards and principles of the settlement of the dispute over the Moroccan claim to the Sahara, said King Mohammed VI.

“Whereas 2016 was the year of resolve and intransigence, during which we matched action with words to thwart the schemes designed to impinge on our rights, 2017 has been the year of clarity and of a return to the standards and principles for the settlement of the dispute over the ‘Moroccanness’ of the Sahara,” declared the monarch on Sunday in a speech delivered to the nation on the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People.

He added that this “firm unambiguous” policy has helped put the process back on the right track, thereby halting the plots designed to divert it into the unknown.

King Mohammed VI noted that this was confirmed by the UN Secretary General’s report, as well as the Security Council resolution adopted last April, be it in terms of commitment to the frame of reference for a settlement, the appreciation of the autonomy proposal as a negotiating framework, or the determination of the legal and political responsibilities of the real party concerned in this regional dispute.

He underlined that the “proactive, composed and firm manner in which we settled the Guerguerat crisis thwarted the efforts to change the facts on the ground in our Sahara and helped put to rest the myth of the liberated territories peddled by Morocco’s enemies.”

In parallel with these developments, international support for the autonomy proposal has continued, as illustrated by the growing number of states that have withdrawn their recognition of the “fictional entity” and by the legal settlement concerning Morocco’s economic partnership with a number of influential powers, he added.

The Moroccan King praised in this respect the serious work and effective action undertaken by the Moroccan diplomatic service to defend the country’s best interests and enhance its credibility.