Ambassador Hilale: Sahara Question Settled and Definitively Closed

In response to “the incomplete and selective reading of the history of the Moroccan Sahara” by the Permanent Representative of Algeria to the UN Sofiane Mimouni, which unfortunately has no other purpose than to mislead the participants in the C24 seminar in the Caribbean, Ambassador Omar Hilale, emphasized that “for Morocco, the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara is definitively settled. Regardless of Algeria, the Moroccan Sahara has been completely decolonized. It returned definitively to Morocco. It has been reintegrated thanks to international law, negotiations and the Madrid Agreement, of which the UN General Assembly took note in its December 1975 resolution.” “Let it be heard, the Sahara question is closed. The population of the Sahara lives peacefully in these Moroccan Provinces and enjoys fully all its rights, as stated by Ghalla Bahiya, Vice-President of the Region of Dakhla Oued Eddahab, who took part in the seminar, at the request of the C24 President, as a democratically elected representative of the Moroccan Sahara region,” Hilale said. “Ghalla was elected during the 2015 regional elections in the Moroccan Sahara. The Kingdom is holding the next elections at the regional level, in 10 days, including in its southern Provinces. This is the Sahara, it is a participatory democracy, generational inclusiveness. It is above all the right of everyone to participate in the daily life of the Sahara,” he noted. “The presentation made by Ghalla, the elected representative of the Sahara, before the C24 is a very comprehensive picture of everyday’s life population on their participation in the electoral process, the economic and cultural development, and the Hassani culture. “We have received today broad support for the political process and the Autonomy Initiative from the overwhelming majority of the C24 members. Therefore, I would like to assure you that, despite Algeria’s adversity and its hostile policy towards Morocco, as its interference and arming of a separatist group for 45 years, Morocco remains resolutely committed to the exclusively UN political process,” Hilale pointed out. “Morocco remains committed to the UN and awaits the appointment of a Personal Envoy to resume the political process of round-tables,” he said. The Moroccan diplomat recalled that “it is Algeria and its puppet the “Polisario” who are delaying the appointment of a new Personal Envoy, following their opposition, with false claims, to several suggestions of Antonio Guterres, including former Romanian Prime Minister Petre Roman and Portugal Minister of Foreign Affairs Luis Amado. We strongly hope that Algeria will agree on the next candidate, without delays or excuses.” “There is a political process in which Morocco is committed and Algeria is a stakeholder,” the Moroccan diplomat added, while asking the Algerian ambassador: “Why did the Algerian minister Ramtane Laamamra take part, along with the Personal Envoy, at the last Round Table in Geneva? Why did the Security Council resolutions cite Algeria five times? The reason is not that his country is a mere observer, as the Algerian representative would have us believe, but because his country is indeed a major stakeholder in this regional dispute.” Ambassador Hilale also rejected the misleading and deceptive statements of the Algerian ambassador regarding the referendum. “As the Kingdom has explained in the two round-tables, and repeated several times, the referendum has become truly obsolete. All the Security Council resolutions for the past 21 years no longer refer to the referendum. Contrary, these resolutions exclusively enshrine the political solution, which means a negotiated one,” he noted, recalling resolutions 1514 and 1541 of the General Assembly, which provide different options, including any solution that has been agreed and negotiated by the parties. “This is what Morocco did during these years and particularly during the two Geneva round tables. And it will continue to do with optimism and commitment, along with the Secretary-General, with his Envoy and with the presence, the contribution and the participation of Algeria in this political process”, the Moroccan diplomat said. He reiterated “that for Morocco, the political process is the negotiation of Autonomy, as part of the sovereignty framework and territorial integrity of the Kingdom. It is an Initiative that Morocco has put on the table and which was discussed at the two round tables in Geneva, in the presence of Algerian Foreign Ministers, Abdelkader Messahel during the 1st Round Table and Ramtane Laamamra at the second one.” “The Autonomy Initiative is the only option to reach a realistic, pragmatic, sustainable and compromise-based political solution to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, as stipulated in resolution 2548, mentioned by the Algerian representative. The Autonomy is also described in this resolution, as the serious and credible solution to this artificial conflict”, Hilale said He concluded by saying that “there is no solution other than Autonomy. With the Autonomy under Moroccan Sovereignty, the solution is possible. To this end, my country reaches out to all parties, as it has always done.”