CORCAS briefed about autonomy proposal

Rabat, Apr. 11 – Moroccan Prime Minister Driss Jettou on Tuesday received the chairman, secretary general and members of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS) whom he briefed about Morocco's proposal to grant a substantial autonomy to its Southern provinces (the Sahara) that is due to be presented to the United Nations this Wednesday.This meeting is part of a series of meetings scheduled with national and regional representatives, political parties and local media to inform them of the autonomy plan that has been finalized.
    During the meeting, attended by Mohamed Moatassim, Advisor to the King, and Chakib Benmoussa, Minister of the Interior, the CORCAS voiced its pride at the king's decision to involve it in the elaboration of the proposal throughout all its phases.

    They also voiced their satisfaction at the substance of this initiative which is in keeping with the proposal the council had submitted following "free, in-depth and constructive deliberations," as well as its respect for the unity and the full sovereignty of the kingdom and the specificities of the region, and its conformity with international standards and legality in terms of autonomy.

    They commended the positive reaction of the international community regarding the proposal which represents a framework for negotiations leading up to a final and consensus-based political solution to the conflict.

    The autonomy proposal was crafted by the North African country in a bid to solve the three-decade-long dispute with the Algerian-backed separatist movement “Polisario” over the Sahara. The former Spanish colony was ceded by Spain to Morocco in 1975 under the Madrid Accord. The Polisario has ever since been claiming independence of the territory.

    In order to explain and muster up support for the autonomy proposal worldwide, delegations of senior officials have, during the past weeks, toured many capitals in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and the Arab world. Several of the visited countries commended Morocco’s initiative and voiced hope it would help solve the dispute.

    The prime minister had earlier received the Speakers of the houses of the Moroccan parliament and the leaders of national political parties.