Moroccan Sahara: Importance of Morocco’s Autonomy Initiative Highlighted in British Parliament

The importance of Morocco’s Autonomy Initiative and the need for support from the United Kingdom were stressed during a round table on the Moroccan Sahara, held on May 1 at the British Parliament, in the presence of several deputies.

Organized by the Moroccan Embassy in London, in collaboration with the parliamentary friendship group “APPG-Morocco” (All-Party Parliamentary Group for Morocco), this meeting shed light on the constant development of the Kingdom’s southern provinces, thanks to the enlightened Vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI.

Several parliamentarians and experts taking part in this round table also noted the security and defense challenges that arise in an unstable global geopolitical context and the need to act quickly to face them, by strengthening partnerships with the traditional allies of the United Kingdom.

In this regard, British parliamentarian Liam Fox recalled that the United Kingdom’s main allies, including France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and the United States, have expressed their support for the Moroccan autonomy initiative, describing Morocco as his country’s “main ally in the region” with “significant cooperation potential”, particularly in terms of security and defense.

In this same context, retired British army officer and current adviser on the Middle East at the Ministry of Defense, Sir Simon Mayall, noted that recent developments in global geopolitics increase security risks, particularly in regions lacking economic prospects and access to education and employment.

”This is why support for safe, stable and prosperous countries which contribute to global efforts in this direction is a priority,” he emphasized, adding that his country must therefore forge partnerships with “reliable partners sharing the same values ​​(…) like Morocco”.

In addition to strengthening the Kingdom’s economic potential, security, and prosperity, support for Morocco’s Autonomy Initiative “would offer a solution to the humanitarian crisis in the Tindouf camps, which in the meantime constitute a hotbed of recruitment for terrorism or gangs linked to illegal migration”.

Reiterating the importance of the projects launched by Morocco on its Atlantic coast from an economic point of view and cooperation with the Kingdom in the field of defense, conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski stressed that the Kingdom positions itself as a model in the fields of women’s rights, religious tolerance and the implementation of the rule of law and democracy.

At the legal level, Chair of International Law and International Constitutional Studies at the University of Cambridge, Professor Marc Weller, explained that Morocco’s position is based on the legal links that have always existed between Morocco and the Sahara, noting that the existence of these links was confirmed by the International Court of Justice in 1975.

For his part, the President of the Council of Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region, El Khattat Yanja, emphasized the region’s “spectacular” development with megaprojects that benefit local populations, in accordance with the Royal Vision to transform the Kingdom’s southern provinces into a pole of economic, social and environmental development, contributing to the development of all of Africa.

On a similar note, Morocco’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Hakim Hajoui, stressed that “the Moroccan autonomy initiative is the only realistic proposal to resolve this regional dispute”, noting that its implementation would make it possible to transform all threats weighing on the region into development opportunities.

The meeting was held in the presence of around fifteen parliamentarians and Lords, including members of the Foreign Affairs Committee, who expressed their support for the Moroccan autonomy initiative and commended the development witnessed by the Kingdom’s southern provinces.

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