Moroccan Sahara: EU Called Upon to Abandon its Role of ‘Passive Spectator’ – Italian Magazine –

Italian magazine ‘Intervento’ has underlined the importance for the European Union to work to achieve a political and realistic solution as sought by the international community to the Moroccan Sahara issue and to abandon its role of “passive spectator” in the wake of the dynamic triggered by the U.S. recognition of Morocco’s full sovereignty over the Sahara. “Europe is inevitably involved in this regional dispute for several reasons and for its colonial past in this region”, said the publication, recalling that “the colonization of this Moroccan territory by Spain took place following the Conference of Berlin in 1884, during which the European powers divided Africa”. Naturally Europe is well aware of the status of Moroccan territory before its occupation, as evidenced by European archives, stressed Intervento, adding that decades of agreements signed between the European powers and Morocco, both commercial and to protect their fellow citizens and sailors in the territory of the Sahara, testify to the deep knowledge of this historical and legal aspect. Regarding the human aspect, Europe shares a very strong link with the region given the presence of millions of European citizens of Maghrebian origin representing a bridge to strengthen relations and promote co-development opportunities, the source pointed out. Politically speaking, Europe is the closest region to the Maghreb, barely 14 km away from the Strait of Gibraltar. “Everything that happens in this area, or in the neighboring Sahel, inevitably has a direct impact on the stability of the entire region,” said the Italian publication. “It is therefore in the interests of the Block to work to achieve a political solution to this dispute,” it added. “Unfortunately the EU has chosen a role of passive spectator for almost half a century and it seems that some of its members are banking on maintaining the status quo and regional tension between Morocco and Algeria obviously due to ‘geostrategic, economic or political interests’,” the publication noted. The EU has all the means and the potential to support Morocco and Algeria in a more dynamic manner towards the political and realistic solution sought by the international community, it said. This compromise-based solution is achievable only with strong support for the autonomy initiative for the Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty, which represents the only democratic way that can give the populations of the region the opportunity to manage their own affairs and at the same time ensuring stability, development and regional integration, the Italian media outlet underlined. The publication recalled that in December 2020 the United States clearly announced their position on the Sahara, recognizing the full sovereignty of Morocco over its Sahara. “This recognition unfortunately did not have the expected and appropriate European response, despite the individual support of some countries for the Moroccan autonomy initiative such as France and some countries of Eastern Europe, to give a boost to this process and ultimately build a region of peace, security and prosperity,” the magazine said.