UNSC Recommends Re-launching of Negotiations in Spirit of 'Realism'

The UN Security Council (UNSC) called for the resumption of negotiations on the Moroccan Sahara, stressing that "realism" and the spirit of "compromise" are "essential" in order to achieve progress in the negotiations. In its resolution 2351, extending the mandate of the MINURSO by one year until April 30th, 2018 and adopted unanimously, the Council stressed the importance of "the commitment of the parties to continue the process of preparing a fifth round of negotiations ", noting that "realism and the spirit of compromise by the parties are essential for progress in the negotiations." In this context, the Council encouraged neighboring countries to "make an important contribution to this process.” Members of the Council called on the parties to "demonstrate political will and work in an atmosphere conducive to dialogue in order to resume negotiations."

In this regard, the Council welcomed the "serious and credible" efforts of Morocco "to move the process towards a resolution", thus stressing the pre-eminence of the autonomy proposal in the Sahara, presented by the Kingdom in April 2007. The Council also expressed its full support for the commitment of the Secretary-General and his personal envoy to reach an agreement on the Sahara issue and “to re-launch the negotiating process with a new dynamic and a new spirit leading to the resumption of a political process with the aim of achieving a mutually acceptable political solution.” In this context, the Council insisted on the importance of resuming negotiations under the aegis of the United Nations "without preconditions and in good faith, taking into account the efforts made since 2006 and the subsequent developments, in order to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution.”

Morocco Ambassador Says There Will Be No political Process If There Is Only One Trace of Polisario in Guerguarat

Morocco's ambassador, Permanent Representative in the United Nations, Omar Hilale, said, at the UN headquarters in New York, that "there will be no political process for the settlement of the Sahara issue if there is only one trace of the polisario at Guerguarat." "We are giving the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), and especially the MINURSO, the time of this weekend to make sure that any trace of the Polisario in Guerguarat is removed," Hilale told a press conference following the unanimous adoption by the Security Council of resolution 2351, extending the MINURSO mandate for one year (until April 30th, 2018). "There will be no discussion with anybody, including the United Nations. We trust the DPKO and the MINURSO. It was they who confirmed, this evening, the departure of all the Polisario elements” from Guerguarat. "We do not want the DPKO and the MINURSO to condone deception and cheating," said the Moroccan official.

HM Morocco King Was Decisive in Managing Guerguarat Problem

The foresight of HM King Mohammed VI was decisive in managing the problem of the Guerguarat area, putting the other parties under the full weight of their responsibility, said, Saturday, minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita. "The decisions taken and their timing have been decisive in creating an environment where the UN Security Council has distinguished between those who act constructively and those who attempt to manipulate and defy the Council and international legality," Bourita told the press following the adoption by the Security Council of resolution 2351 (2017) on the Sahara issue. "Morocco has taken note of the statement issued by the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping on the withdrawal of the Polisario from this area," the minister said, stressing that the Kingdom remains "vigilant" on this issue.

The withdrawal should be "total, unconditional and permanent", said Bourita, stressing that the MINURSO and the UN Secretary-General are called upon to assume their responsibilities in the implementation of this withdrawal. He also noted that Morocco has always considered the area of Guerguarat as a buffer zone, endowed with a clear legal status, and that any change of this status represents a violation of the cease-fire agreements. Bourita stressed that the myth of the "liberated territory" put forward by the polisario is only a "lexicon and gesticulations contrary to the international legality and the resolutions of the Security Council". Morocco has been clear and firm concerning the presence of the Polisario in this area, said the minister, stressing that the position of the Kingdom has been confirmed by the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council who have "put the Polisario and its guardians before their relentless responsibilities" of violation of the ceasefire. "The wacky statements of the Polisario on this issue would have served no purpose, since today the Polisario leaves the area of Guerguarat with head bowed," he concluded.

Washington, France, EU and AUC Welcome Adoption by UNSC of Resolution 2351 on Sahara Issue

The United States "continues to consider the Moroccan autonomy plan (in the Sahara) as being serious, credible and realistic," the US Deputy Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Michele J. Sison, told the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Friday. "We continue to consider the autonomy plan as being serious, credible and realistic, and represents a potential approach to meeting the aspirations of the population of the Sahara to manage its own affairs in peace and dignity," said the US diplomat in a speech following the unanimous adoption by the members of the Council of resolution 2351, extending the mandate of the MINURSO for one year (until April 30th, 2018).

France commended on Tuesday the unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council (UNSC) of resolution 2351 (2017) on the Sahara, which extends by one year the MINURSO mandate. "France commends the unanimous adoption on April 28 by the United Nations Security Council of resolution 2351, extending for one year MINURSO’s mandate, French Foreign Ministry spokesman, Romain Nadal, said at a press briefing. The French official hailed MINURSO’s actions aimed at preserving peace, security and stability in the region. The European Union (EU) welcomes the adoption by the UN Security Council (UNSC) of resolution 2351 on the Sahara issue, said a spokesperson of the EU. "The European Union welcomes the adoption by the UN Security Council of the resolution on the renewal of MINURSO's mandate until April 30th, 2018," the spokesperson told the press. The EU says it encourages the parties "to use the window of opportunity created by this decision as well as by the withdrawal of military forces from the Guerguerat area, to work for a lasting peace," she added. The African Union Commission (AUC) commended the unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council (UNSC) of resolution 2351 (2017) on the Sahara, which extended by one year the MINURSO mandate. "Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, welcomes the unanimous adoption by UN Security Council members of resolution 2351 (2017), which extended the mandate of the MINURSO until April 30, 2018," said the Commission in a statement, issued Sunday in Addis Ababa.