The United States will not revise the recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara

Officially, the Sahara issue was not discussed during the talks between Nasser Bourita and Antony Blinken. However, the Biden administration has no plans to revise the December 10, 2020 decision made by Donald Trump.

Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita and American counterpart Antony Blinken. / DR
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The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs phoned, on Friday April 30, his American counterpart Antony Blinken. On this occasion, the US Secretary of State praised, «the longstanding and mutually beneficial bilateral relationship founded on shared values and interests in regional peace, security, and prosperity».

Blinken also welcomed the resumption of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel. He said he was convinced that this recovery would bring «long-term benefits for both countries», reads a press release by the office of the spokesperson.

The two sides also discussed opportunities to increase cooperation in Africa to promote economic prosperity and stability and the Secretary highlighted Morocco’s key role in fostering stability in the Sahel and Libya.

He also discussed the «far-reaching reforms over the past two decades, and the Secretary encouraged Morocco to continue implementing these reforms and to reaffirm its commitment to protecting and promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms».

The American official also «commended King Mohammed VI’s leadership combatting climate change and investing in renewable energy and encouraged Morocco to help promote green economic growth and development in Africa». On March 31, John Kerry, the Biden administration's special climate envoy, also praised the sovereign's actions in promoting renewable energy. It is worth mentioning that the Kingdom was not invited to take part in the climate summit on April 22 and 23.

Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara

Nasser Bourita and Antony Blinken noted that this year marks the two hundredth anniversary of the gift of the American Legation building in Tangier to the American people by Sultan Moulay Suliman. During his visit to Morocco in July 2016, Blinken visited the building.

It must be noted that the official statements issued by Rabat and Washington overlooked the US recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara. However, Axios reveals that Blinken has assured his Moroccan counterpart that the Biden administration will uphold the decision, according to sources in Washington. According to the same source, ten days ago, Biden's Middle East adviser Brett McGurk spoke with Bourita and hinted that there would be no change in US policy on Western Sahara.

Axios says senior White House and State Department officials have had multiple discussions on this issue in recent weeks. The decision that emerged from these debates was not to cancel Trump's policy but to work with the Moroccans on the appointment of a new UN envoy for Western Sahara to resume talks as soon as possible.

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