Moroccan Sahara: Prominent Gabonese Officials Laud Spain’s New Position

Prominent Gabonese officials have welcomed Spain’s recognition of the autonomy initiative proposed by Morocco as the most serious, realistic and credible solution to the artificial dispute over the Moroccan Sahara. In this sense, Estelle Ondo, former Minister of Forest Economy, Fisheries and Environment and current member of parliament, stressed that this is a “political and diplomatic” recognition that gives credibility and support to Morocco, and destabilizes the enemies of the territorial integrity of the Kingdom, which remains very active in the UN and Africa to assert its sovereignty over its territories. “This new position of Spain clearly means that Morocco is winning and progressing by gaining international support of weight,” she said in a statement to MAP. Estelle Ondo has, in the same context, stressed that in the process itself of a final resolution of this artificial conflict, “Morocco is in the process of making the world understand the reality of this conflict and the geostrategic and security issues of this matter that some parties on the other side want to hide” (polisario and Algeria). She said that the Moroccan plan offers not only guarantees of socio-economic development and protection of the local Sahrawi identity, but also protects its historical territorial and political sovereignty. Estelle Ondo highlighted the leadership of HM King Mohammed VI, who since his accession to the throne has made the Sahara issue a major aspect of Morocco’s foreign policy. “With Africa, the Sovereign has changed his approach by strengthening cooperation with several countries. And more globally, several historical supporters have been in favor of the Kingdom thanks to a wise diplomacy of HM King Mohammed VI, like the United States, a member of the UN Security Council,” she said. “This dispute is therefore entering a phase of final settlement,” she concluded. For his part, the Gabonese MP, vice-president of the Law Commission and former Minister of Defense, Budget, Youth and Sports, Tourism and Decentralization, Mathias Otounga Ossibadjouo, was pleased to learn of the new position of Spain on the Moroccan Sahara. Also former Deputy Director of Cabinet of the President of the Republic, Otounga Ossibadjouo commended the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, who allowed this happy outcome. Regis Immongault, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and current MP, said that this recognition by Spain of the importance of the Sahara issue for Morocco and the Moroccan autonomy initiative as the most serious, realistic and credible basis is “a strong step forward”, which should push multilateralism on this issue. He stressed that Gabon “has always supported the position of its brother country, Morocco, in the resolution of this conflict”.