Paris – Morocco is without a doubt the only one that can ensure the future awaited in the Sahara and therefore bring real prospects for economic development to the entire region, said Tuesday, French Senator and former Secretary of State for Cooperation and Francophony, Alain Joyandet.
“Every so often, history offers opportunities that should not be missed,” he wrote in an op-ed published by French media Mondafrique.
“For centuries, this territory, twice the size of France, and which the United Nations does not consider as a state, has been tossed around by conflicts and diplomatic agreements” and “cut up, after having been abandoned by the Spaniards,” he recalled.
Since then, more than 40 years ago, the Sahrawi conflict has disrupted the entire region and beyond, the Senator added, speaking of the current situation of the dispute involving “obviously” a “fragile” Algeria that “seems to have taken a step back, even if it still defends what is left of the polisario front”, a Spain that “left leaving a chaotic situation” and which “is no longer in a position to claim anything” and a Mauritania that “wisely withdrew to its borders where it is now regaining stability.”
According to him, Morocco “is probably the only one that can ensure to the Sahara — where it has an excellent public opinion — the future it awaits and therefore provide the whole region with real prospects for economic development. The potential is very important.”
Emphasizing the fact that the option of a referendum on self-determination is buried because it is unworkable, the French Senator noted that Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara and to establish a consular antenna in Dakhla “has not triggered any audible international protests.”
Even the African Union, which was very active for some time, remained “very discreet” while the European Union “has not reacted much more,” he observed.
In Joyandet’s opinion, the time is “perhaps right to follow in the footsteps of the United States.” This initiative and the Abraham Peace Accords are also a “positive contribution” to the resolution of many of the outstanding issues between several African states and Israel, he added.
According to the French politician, “France should not remain indifferent to these developments in North Africa, insofar that its position is not very far from that of Donald Trump.”
The European Union “cannot remain insensitive to this new situation (…) the future of Europe depends so much on stability in Africa and this region in particular,” he concluded.