Meeting Horst Köhler : Morocco doesn’t want the AU and EU to be part of the discussions

The first meeting to bring Horst Köhler and a Moroccan delegation together went well. Morocco reiterated its conditions for the settlement of the conflict. A position that contradicts what the German mediator is advocating for.

Horst Kohler, the personal envoy of the UN Secretary-General and Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita. /Ph. DR
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A Moroccan delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation met Tuesday in Lisbon with Horst Köhler. «Overall, the discussions took place in an atmosphere of serenity and the talks were rich and fruitful. The atmosphere was marked by its seriousness and was filled with mutual respect», Nasser Bourita told media after the parties met.

«This is a meeting to discuss the evolution of the Moroccan Sahara conflict», he said stressing that the talks were not part of a negotiation process. Through his words, Bourita denied all speculations, saying that Morocco has given a go-ahead to the German mediator’s proposal. The latter urged the parties to relaunch negotiations with the Polisario, an offer that was accepted by Algeria and the separatist movement.

The four requirements set by Morocco

The minister pointed out that the Moroccan delegation attended this meeting while taking into consideration the content of King Mohammed VI’s speech delivered on November the 6th 2017 on the 42nd anniversary of the Green March. The sovereign then defined the four conditions required to pursue the process carried out by the United Nations.

Furthermore, Bourita recalled insisting that : «The solution must abide by the following principles, the Kingdom’s sovereignty, its territorial integrity and its national unity (…) The process should bring together all the parties linked to this dispute, the real parties that have been at the origin of this regional dispute (…) It must be under exclusive auspices of the United Nations, without allowing the intervention of any other regional or international organizations».

These conditions, reiterated by the Moroccan Foreign Minister, contradict with the line followed by Horst Köhler. The latter is relying on the European Union and the African Union to play a role in the settlement of the Sahara conflict, which Morocco refuses.

The personal envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Western Sahara will have to present, at the end of March and behind closed doors, a briefing before the members of the Security Council on the evolution of the file.

In Lisbon, the Moroccan delegation was led by Nasser Bourita included Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom to the United Nations, Sidi Hamdi Ould Errachid, President of the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region and Ynja Khattat, President of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region .

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