Highlights on Morocco

Morocco Rejects Any Change in UN Role in Western Sahara: Official

Rabat - Morocco rejects any change in the UN role concerning the management of the Western Sahara issue, said Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs Mbarka Bouaida.

In an interview published Monday in the Arab-speaking paper "Assabah," Bouaida underlined that “the Moroccan Sahara issue is at the heart of all democratic large-scale projects opened in Morocco at the political, constitutional, institutional and development levels.”

“Any change in the nature of the UN role was rejected by Morocco, mainly after the existence of a secret plan to bury the autonomy proposal was confirmed,” she said.

"The situation we are facing today is the result of an old strategy of manipulation against which Morocco has warned," she added.

The official described statements made by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, as “a serious and unacceptable professional mistake” especially at this level of responsibility.

The statements are “part of a plan dating back to 2007, the date of submission of Morocco's autonomy plan, and which reached its peak today in form of grave blunder by the UNSG.”

Ban Ki-moon paid a partial and provocative visit to the region, told MINURSO members that they were in the Sahara to implement the referendum and described Morocco as "occupant," she noted.

The minister underlined that Morocco is “considered to be the most advanced party as it has always insisted on the need to find a solution (to the conflict), submitted proposals and made more compromises while the position of other parties remained unchanged.

Morocco “showed goodwill in dealing with the issue since the ceasefire of 1991 and proposed a referendum project. The respect of Morocco's commitments to the UN does not mean turning a blind eye on personal blunders by UN officials,” she said.

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