No Change in US Policy on Sahara Compared to Previous Administration – Joey Hood –

US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Joey Hood, reiterated, Wednesday in Rabat, the unchanged position of the United States of America recognizing the sovereignty of Morocco over the Sahara. There is no change in US policy on the Sahara compared with the previous administration, Hood pointed out at a press conference held following talks with the Moroccan minister of Foreign Affairs, African cooperation and Moroccans abroad, Nasser Bourita. The US official underlined in this regard the accentuated efforts aimed at “helping the United Nations process to produce results” on the Sahara issue. Hood voiced Washington’s support for a credible political process, led by the United Nations, to foster regional stability and end hostilities. “We are consulting the parties on the best way to put an end to the violence and consequently to reach a final settlement” to the Sahara issue, he said. The United States “strongly” supports efforts to appoint “as soon as possible” a personal envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Sahara, he added. “We are ready to be actively engaged with all parties in support of this person”, with the aim of achieving a solution accepted by all parties, a solution which can lead to peace and stability. “This is the objective sought by the United States and Morocco for the entire region,” he said, stressing, in this regard, the role of the Kingdom in strengthening security in the region. Through a Presidential Proclamation, signed on December 10, the United States confirmed the formal American recognition of the Kingdom’s full sovereignty over the Sahara. The text of the Proclamation was then handed out to the 193 Member States of the United Nations, as an official document of the Security Council. In a letter sent on this occasion to the President of the Security Council, a copy of which was also sent to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the US stress that the Moroccan autonomy proposal is “the only basis for a just and lasting solution” to the dispute over the Sahara.