Moroccan Sahara: For Benin, Autonomy Plan is ‘Compromise Solution’  

Benin expressed, in New York, its support to the Moroccan autonomy initiative, calling it a “compromise solution” to resolve the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara. Speaking before the members of the 4th Committee of the UN General Assembly, the representative of Benin said that his country welcomes the efforts made by Morocco, through the autonomy initiative and investments in socio-economic development in the southern provinces, which contribute to the welfare of local populations. He also welcomed the inauguration of consulates general in the cities of Laayoune and Dakhla by African, Arab, American and Asian countries, noting that these representations “undoubtedly contribute to strengthening economic opportunities and further enhance the potential of the region”. The Beninese diplomat also stressed that his country welcomes and supports the initiatives of the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, and calls for the resumption of the roundtable process, under the same format and with the effective participation of all stakeholders, in accordance with Security Council resolution 2602. In this context, Benin calls on the parties to the round table meetings to remain committed throughout this process in order to achieve a realistic, pragmatic and sustainable political solution to this issue, “whose happy and rapid outcome remains at the heart of the concerns of the international community and populations who aspire to peace, security and prosperity,” said the diplomat.