EU should seize Morocco’s accession to AU to reopen negotiations on Western Sahara conflict

Brussels, February 24, 2017 (SPS) -The European Union (EU) should seize the opportunity of Morocco’s accession to the African Union (AU) to reopen negotiations between the Sahrawi authorities and Morocco with a view to resolving the conflict, said EU MP Diane Dodds.

In a written question to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, the EU MP wondered about EU’s efforts to facilitate “constructive discussions” between the Sahrawi and Moroccan governments to find a lasting solution to the conflict.  

In the recent years, the EU has backed the UN’s efforts to settle the Sahrawi conflict since Spain withdrew its forces in 1976.

The EU has always affirmed that it supported the efforts made by the Secretary General of the UN to reach a just, sustainable and mutually acceptable political solution to the conflict.

Some days ago, Belgium’s FM Didier Reynders expressed the hope EU would play an active role in the Sahel and Maghreb regions

Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ramtane Lamamra welcomed, in Brussels, the position of Belgium concerning Morocco’s accession to the African Union (AU), considering it as “a fundamental change in circumstances.”

“I am delighted that my counterpart Didier (Reynders) has well received Morocco’s accession to AU where it sits with SADR and Algeria and all the others, (the admission) constitutes a fundamental change in circumstances from which prospects should be open up,” he said following a meeting  with Deputy Prime Minister and Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders.

Lamamra regretted, in this regard, EU’s approach towards the Maghreb which was “until now a little distant and based much more on the bilateral cooperation with every Maghreb country rather than with a whole, homogonous and stable  Maghreb, which addressed its political issues and which resolutely moves towards complementarity and integration.”

Lamamra considered the issue of Western Sahara “essential,” urging Europe which is an “economic giant” to be also a “political giant” in the international relations. SPS