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Guerguerate : Is the EU trying to mediate between Morocco and Algeria ?

The European Union has contacted the two neighboring countries about the military tensions triggered by the blockade of Guerguerate.

Josep Borrell, European Union Minister for Foreign Affairs. / DR
Estimated read time: 2'

Is the European Union trying to mediate between Morocco and Algeria? On Sunday, November 15, European Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell met the Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and his Algerian counterpart Sabri Boukadoum «to learn about the recent developments in the Guerguerate area», following the military intervention that took place last week, reads a press release.

Borrell told the two ministers about the «the EU’s full support for the efforts of the United Nations and the UN Secretary-General to find a peaceful settlement for the Western Sahara question, in accordance with the Security Council resolutions, including the last one (2548), adopted on October 30, 2020».

Borrell called for a «rapid resumption of discussions under the auspices of the United Nations and a new personal envoy to the UN Secretary-General for Western Sahara».

Borrell underlined «the paramount importance of respecting the ceasefire agreements put in place since 1991 and reiterated the EU's full support for MINURSO's efforts in this context».

A press release against Algeria and the Polisario

The Spanish official also insisted «on ensuring freedom of movement and the flow of goods and people in the Guerguerat border crossing, and its significant impact on the entire Maghreb and Sahel region, a region of strategic importance». A message for Sabri Boukadoum, whose country shelters the Polisario.

Borrell pleaded for a political solution to the Western Sahara question to ensure regional cooperation between the Maghreb countries, the stability, security and prosperity of the region, especially during the current economic difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Borrell’s words are likely to annoy Algiers, especially as it ignored the «right to self-determination of the Saharawi people» and the «referendum in Western Sahara», two key demands of Algeria and the Polisario.

For the record, during the blockade of the Guerguerate border crossing by the Polisario, the European Commission authorized European trawlers fishing in Mauritanian waters to land their catches at the port of Dakhla instead of Nouadhibou. A small «revolution», knowing that during summer 2019, the EC had vetoed a similar request by the shipowners of the Galicia region in Spain, precisely in order to escape the closure of the border crossing.

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