Parliament Speakers briefed about Sahara autonomy proposal

Rabat, Apr. 10 – Moroccan Prime Minister Driss Jettou on Monday received the speakers of the House of Representatives and of the House of Advisors (Senate)

respectively Abdelouahed Radi and Mustapha Oukacha whom he briefed about Morocco's proposal to grant a substantial autonomy to its Southern provinces, the Sahara.This first "information and consultation meeting" was held upon instruction of King Mohammed VI, said a press release of the King's Office.
   During the meeting, attended by Mohamed Moatassim, Advisor to the King, and Chakib Benmoussa, Minister of the Interior, the two Speakers were briefed about "the open, constructive initiative Morocco is about to present to the UN Secretary general," the press release added.
Morocco is due to present its proposal this Tuesday to the UN Security Council.
   The autonomy proposal was crafted by the North African country in a bid to solve the three decade-long dispute with the Algerian-backed separatist movement “Polisario” over the Sahara. The former Spanish colony was ceded by Spain to Morocco in 1975 under the Madrid Accords. The Polisario has ever since been claiming independence of the territory.
   “Consistent with His Majesty’s keen desire to inform the nation’s top official about the substance of the Moroccan initiative, and the progress made in its finalization, and to involve them in all its development stages, it has been agreed to hold, in each House, a joint meeting between the home and foreign affairs committees and the ministers in charge of home and foreign affairs”, the press release went on.
    In order to explain and drum up support for the autonomy proposal worldwide, delegations of senior officials have, during the past weeks, toured many capitals in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and the Arab world. Several of the visited countries commended Morocco’s initiative and voiced hope it would help solve the dispute.