Moroccan Sahara: Netherlands Joins International Momentum to Support Autonomy Plan  

The Netherlands considered, Wednesday, the autonomy plan, presented in 2007 by Morocco, as “a serious and credible contribution to the UN-led political process” to find a solution to the Sahara issue. By this new position, expressed in the joint statement issued after the talks between Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita, and his Dutch counterpart, Wopke Hoekstra, the Netherlands has clearly joined the international momentum of support for the Moroccan autonomy plan to definitively close the artificial dispute over the Moroccan Sahara. The new position of The Hague comes in the wake of the support expressed by the United States, Germany, Spain and the Philippines in favor of the autonomy initiative presented by Morocco in 2007 as the only basis for ending this dispute. In the joint statement, which was issued at the end of the Bourita-Hoekstra talks, the Netherlands and Morocco reaffirmed their support for the UN Secretary General’s Personal Envoy for the Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, and his efforts to continue “a political process aimed at reaching a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution”, in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council and the aims and principles set out in the UN Charter. The meeting of Bourita with the Dutch FM took place Wednesday in Marrakech on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.