Morocco ready to negotiate autonomy,

King Mohammed VI, on Monday, made it clear that Morocco will negotiate

only autonomy, in a bid to solve the 32 year-old Sahara dispute, opposing the North African country to the Algerian-backed separatist movement "the Polisario", over the control of the former Spanish colony.
"I should like, on your behalf, to stress that Morocco is committed to serious negotiation on the basis of the two following elements: first, having taken part, in good faith, in the first round of negotiations, (June 18-19 in Manhasset, New York) Morocco is and will remain ready to negotiate on autonomy, and nothing but autonomy," the monarch emphasized in a nationwide speech on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of his enthronement.
King Mohammed VI also insisted that "the consensual autonomy solution can be conceived only within the framework of the Kingdom's full, non-negotiable sovereignty and national unity, and its indivisible territorial integrity."
The second round of negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario is  slated for August 10-11 under the supervision of the United Nations in Manhasset, New York outskirts.
In his speech, the monarch expressed "satisfaction" with the position of the Security Council and the United Nations, which supported Morocco's initiative, describing it as "serious and credible", in  an allusion to the autonomy proposal the kingdom is wishing to apply to its Southern Provinces, known as the Sahara. The former Spanish colony was ceded to  Morocco in 1975 under the Madrid Accords. However the Polisario, backed by Morocco's eastern neighbor, Algeria, has ever since seeking independence of the territory.
"Morocco appreciates all responsible, constructive UN-sponsored efforts for serious negotiations on the Initiative," the king added before paying tribute to the "influential powers in the international community and to friendly and sister nations which backed our position."
 "This, he went on, brought the Moroccan Initiative under the global spotlight; it is a modern type of self-determination which is fully consistent, in terms of both form and substance, with authentic, international legality."
Morocco, he said, will continue to reach out to all the parties which are truly concerned by the political settlement of this artificial dispute, and will seek to convince them of the historic opportunity offered by the Initiative. "We want this solution to be a victory not only for all the parties, but also for justice and for legality; and we want the spirit of fraternity, good neighborliness and Maghreb unity to prevail."
The monarch called upon all Moroccans including those held against their will in the Polisario-run camps of Tindouf (Southwestern Algeria) to "ensure wider support for this Initiative among their brothers."
Finally, while pledging that Morocco will honor any mutually accepted political agreement reached with the parties concerned and based on the Initiative, King Mohammed VI made it clear that “under no circumstances, however, will Morocco be made hostage to the calculations of others. Our country will follow through with its political process, and build on its invaluable democratic achievements. They are a model for the region, and we should be proud of them.”