15 Members of Andean Parliament General Assembly Reiterate their Position Supporting Morocco’s Territorial Integrity, Autonomy Initiative

Fifteen members of the General Assembly of the Andean Parliament, among the 25 members of this constitutional body, have reiterated, in a petition addressed to this Parliament Speaker, their firm position supporting Morocco’s territorial integrity and the autonomy initiative as a solution to the dispute over the Moroccan Sahara. In this declaration-petition addressed to the Moroccan parliament, these parliamentarians expressed their call to “promote peace and stability, and to consider civilized dialogue as the best way to achieve the necessary consensus leading to a climate of real and lasting peace.” The petition recalls that the General Assembly of the Andean Parliament held a session in the city of Laayoune in the Moroccan Sahara, on July 4, 2022, with the participation of the Moroccan Parliament represented by the Speakers of the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors, during which a position supporting political dialogue and parliamentary cooperation was adopted. At this session, adds the same source, the Andean parliamentarians who inquired about the situation on the ground reported, during their visit to socio-economic development projects and educational and medical facilities, “peace, stability and development prevailing in the region.” In the same context, it was stressed that the successive visits of Andean parliamentarians to Morocco have enabled them to be aware of the reform projects undertaken, socio-economic development as well as respect for human rights, which make the Kingdom a leading pole in its regional environment and a gateway of Andean and Latin American countries to Africa and the Arab world. The petition recalls, in this context, the last official resolution adopted by the Andean Parliament on October 27, 2022 in Bucaramanga, Colombia, where a majority of its members voted for a resolution supporting the political sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity of sovereign states recognized by the United Nations, expressing support for the Moroccan autonomy plan as a realistic, serious and credible solution to this regional dispute within the framework of the United Nations resolutions. In this regard, the petition calls on the Speaker of the Andean Parliament to comply with the content of the agreement signed with the Moroccan Parliament and to return to inviting its representatives to attend the General Assembly sessions, as has been the case with previous speakers of the Andean Parliament since the signing of the agreement for Morocco’s accession as an observer member and advanced partner of this regional parliamentary body. The Moroccan parliament was keen to point out that the current speaker of the Andean Parliament has tried to involve the so-called “sahrawi national council” as an observer member of the Andean Parliament. After the failure of her attempt following the refusal of the majority of the Assembly’s members, the speaker of the Andean Parliament has made sure not to invite the Moroccan parliament, contrary to what is stipulated in the agreement signed between the two legislative institutions. It noted that after the failure of all these attempts, the current speaker sought to mislead the participants in the 17th session of the Union of Councils of Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, held recently in Algeria, saying that the Andean Parliament supports the lies and illusions of the country hosting the ghost “rasd”, ensuring that “this petition came after the statement of the Committee on Foreign Policy, International Relations and Parliamentary Diplomacy in the Andean Parliament to expose the Speaker’s desperate attempts and prove that she speaks for a minority of members.” In this regard, the Moroccan parliament recalled that three of the five members of the country of the current speaker of the Andean Parliament (Republic of Colombia) are signatories of this petition, three of the five members of the Executive Board are also signatories and reject her statements. This is also the case in the Foreign Affairs Committee, where three out of five members have signed a statement confirming their support for Morocco’s unity and territorial sovereignty over all its territory, and among the 25 members of the General Assembly, 15 reject the Speaker’s statements and reaffirm their support for the Kingdom and its autonomy initiative in the southern provinces under Moroccan sovereignty. The Speakers of the two Houses of the Moroccan Parliament highly praised the “commendable efforts and high patriotic spirit” shown by its representatives in the Andean Parliament. Morocco is represented in the Andean Parliament by deputies Fatine El Ghali, Mohammed Benjelloun Touimi (House of Representatives) and Councillor Abdelkader Salama (House of Councillors).