Guinea-Bissau Underlines that Moroccan Autonomy Plan is the ‘Most Realistic’ Solution to Sahara Issue

Guinea-Bissau expressed, Monday in New York, its support for the Moroccan autonomy initiative, deeming it the “most realistic and the most pragmatic” solution to settle the regional conflict over the Sahara. Speaking before the 4th Committee of the UN General Assembly, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Guinea-Bissau to the UN, Henrique Adriano Da Silva, stressed that the autonomy plan presented by Morocco will also contribute to the economic, social and cultural development in the region. To achieve a lasting solution to this regional dispute, the best approach, according to Guinea-Bissau, would be to ensure that all parties remain “engaged” in a “realistic” political dialogue under the aegis of the United Nations. Mr. Da Silva underlines, in this context, that the two previous round tables which took place in Geneva with the participation of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario, show “the undeniable relevance” of the UN process. The diplomat welcomed the appointment of the new Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Moroccan Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, while reaffirming his country’s support for the efforts of the United Nations on this issue. The ambassador also highlighted the development dynamic underway in the southern provinces, particularly with regards to infrastructure, education and health, stressing that such initiatives have prompted several countries, including Guinea-Bissau, to open general consulates and representations in Laâyoune and Dakhla. He also shed light on the efforts that Morocco has made in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, by providing assistance and vaccines to the populations of the southern provinces.