Christopher Ross: International community's approach to Sahrawi question remains unchanged

Washington, 15 December 2020 (SPS) - Former UN Envoy for Western Sahara Christopher Ross said on Monday that the decision of the outgoing US president Donald Trump, recognizing Morocco's alleged sovereignty over Western Sahara doesn’t change the international community approach on this conflict, recalling Algeria's "clear" position on the right of peoples to self-determination.

"By denying this right, the United States is turning its back not only on centuries-old support for this principle, including in Algeria in 1959, but also on the principle of annexation of territories by force," Ross told the National Radio’s channel 3.

It is "obvious that the outgoing US president's proclamation recognizing a sovereignty that belongs neither to him nor to Morocco is foolish, ill-considered and dangerous," said Ross. 

He explained that "this decision does not change the approach of the international community on Western Sahara issue and the urgent need to implement successive Security Council resolutions" on the Sahrawi file.

In this regard, Ross said that Algeria's position "is clear as it supports the right of peoples to self-determination," adding that "the Trump administration is blatantly ignoring this need, turning its back on the principle of self-determination."

"We all wonder why President Trump made this statement given that since the beginning of his mandate there were strong voices calling for the United States not to alter position," said the former UN Secretary General's envoy to Western Sahara.

He argues that Trump's decision "will make it more complex to reaching an agreement and will lead to a dangerous and growing tension" which "threatens peace and security" in the region.

Ross finally called on the administration of President-elect Joe Biden, who will take office on January 20, to "reverse" the decision of his predecessor.

Christopher Ross was appointed in 2009 the UN Secretary General's Personal Envoy for Western Sahara. He resigned from his post on March 6, 2017. (SPS)