A new motion passed Tuesday by the Colombian Senate gave unequivocal support to Morocco’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over its Sahara, reiterating the categorical rejection by the “legitimate representatives of the Colombian people” to the current government’s “unwise decision” to establish relations with the pseudo-sadr. “As Senators and legitimate representatives of the Colombian people, we profoundly reject this unwise decision by the current government, which in no way represents the position of Colombians towards Morocco, and we reiterate our firm position of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Morocco,” read the motion adopted by an overwhelming majority of 65 Senators out of the 105 in the upper house of the Colombian Congress. The motion, which was endorsed by Senators from nine of Colombia’s most important political parties, two of which are part of the government coalition, was supported in particular by president of the Colombian Congress and Senate, Ivan Leónidas Name (Green Alliance), and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Lidio Garcia Turbay (Liberal Party), both of whom wished to send a strong political message to president Gustavo Petro. In this new motion, which follows on from the one adopted in October 2022, the signatories stated that they “categorically reject the establishment of ‘diplomatic relations’ with the separatist movement (polisario) and the self-proclaimed ‘Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic’, and even more so, the presence in Colombia of its so-called ‘ambassador'”. “We regret that this government has once again turned a deaf ear not only to our Motion of October 19, 2022, signed by 63 Senators, representing nine political parties, but also to our numerous calls for respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Morocco,” added the text of the motion. In this context, the signatories recalled that Colombia has maintained “a friendship with Morocco that goes back almost half a century, and that it (the Kingdom) is a strategic and privileged ally of Colombia on the African continent and in the Arab world, given its great leadership and recognition on a regional, continental and global scale”. They wondered “how diplomatic relations can be established with the separatist ‘polisario front’ movement, if the 1961 Vienna Convention governing diplomatic relations clearly stipulates that such relations are established between sovereign states recognized as such, and that the separatist ‘polisario front’ movement, as we all know, does not possess the minimum attributes of a state, is not recognized by the vast majority of countries, nor by the United Nations, and has no legal legitimacy, as we all know, does not possess the minimum attributes of a state, is not recognized by the vast majority of countries, nor by the United Nations, and has no legal legitimacy, let alone international legitimacy”. Recalling the “cardinal principles” of Colombian diplomacy, namely respect for international legality, non-interference in the internal affairs of countries and respect for the territorial sovereignty of each of them, the motion deplored the fact that these essential fundamentals have been totally transgressed by the current government in Bogota. “The position adopted by this government is not conducive to the political process underway in New York, under the aegis of the United Nations, its Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy for the Sahara, Staffan de Mistura”, pointed out the signatories of the motion, who also consider that “healthy relations cannot be built on the basis of obsolete ideological positions inherited from the Cold War, and even less so that such positions make this government a standard-bearer for separatism”. The 65 signatories to the motion also “deplored the deep crisis in our diplomatic relations, cooperation and friendship with the Kingdom of Morocco”, noting that as a result of this position taken by the Colombian government, “the positive and proactive dynamic we had with this friendly country has come to a complete halt. Morocco has completely suspended cooperation, as well as all current agreements, in sectors as important to Colombia as agriculture, renewable energies, the port sector, railroads and tourism, with all the prejudice that this implies”. The Colombian Senators insisted: “We consider that it is the duty of the president of the Republic to manage international relations with responsibility, respect and coherence, and in this case, the position adopted by this government is not consistent with our interests as a country and does not benefit Colombians in any way”. On the contrary, noted the text of the motion, “in a context where Colombia is implementing a policy of rapprochement with Africa, with a view to creating new cooperation alliances, we are deeply affected by the adoption of this position vis-à-vis Morocco, one of our main partners in this region and Colombia’s fourth-largest customer in Africa”. The signatories criticized the current government for seeking to “create supposed alliances” with a separatist movement, which “represents absolutely nothing for Colombia, nor for the world, and which, moreover, raises serious questions about its links with terrorist groups”, concluded the text of the motion. This new motion, which enjoys the support of an overwhelming majority of the members of the upper house of Congress, the most important legislative body in Colombia, confirms that the relationship with Morocco is not an issue specific to opposition political parties, but is a subject of political consensus in Colombia. Moreover, with this massive endorsement, the Colombian political class wishes to reiterate to Gustavo Petro’s government that relations with Morocco remain a priority and a topical issue. The parties signing the motion are the Liberal Party and the Green Alliance Party (members of the government coalition), the Conservative Party; the U Party; the MIRA Party; the Independent Social Alliance Party and the En Marche Party (Independents) and finally the Democratic Center Party and Radical Change Party (Opposition). The motion was read out in plenary session of the Senate by Senator German Alcides Blanco Alvarez, president of the Colombia/Morocco Friendship Group in the Senate and president of the Constitutional Committee, the largest in the Colombian Congress. The text of the motion will be sent to president Gustavo Petro and his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alvaro Leyva.
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