Sahara : Moroccan Autonomy Plan “Best Option” for the Region’s Future (British MPs)

Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski, who initiated the debate, pointed out that several of the UK’s allies, including Spain, France, the Netherlands and Germany, recognise that Morocco’s autonomy plan is “the best option going forward” for ensuring a prosperous future for the region.

Morocco is “a reliable strategic partner, which pursues all the attributes of a modern democracy and with which we can and must establish solid commercial, political and security lins”, he asserted.

While highlighting Morocco’s “remarkable” advances in women’s and religious rights, the parliamentarian paid tribute to His Majesty King Mohammed VI “for His leadership and Vision, and the way the Sovereign pursues interfaith dialogue”. He also highlighted the work of His Majesty the King in Africa.

Kawczynski noted that Morocco is a “genuine thriving democracy where the rule of law is protected and people can debate (…) without fear of retribution”, describing Morocco as “the UK’s second oldest ally” and a “reliable partner”.

Conservative MP Liam Fox argued that the autonomy plan is “the only game in town, and the only way that we can create progress for those who live in the region and wish to see not only security and stability, but economic development and eventually democratic progress.”

For his part, Labour MP Fabian Hamilton felt that “the most essential things for the resolution of any conflict is economic development and the reduction of inequalities between the richest and the poorest”, highlighting Morocco’s efforts to develop the southern provinces.

Hamilton said that during a visit to Laâyoune, he had seen first-hand the effects and benefits of this economic development on the region’s inhabitants, and that “this is what we need in order to end the conflict.”

Labour MP and Shadow Cabinet Member Lyn Brown said that the status quo is “damaging” for the region and for the interests of North Africa, calling the need for “creative solutions” to move the dispute forward.

Conservative MP and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, David Rutley, emphasised the age-old nature of the partnership between the UK and Morocco, which “continues to go from strength to strength, with deepening collaboration across new and existing areas.”

“Morocco is a stable, friendly and important country in the region that is undergoing positive economic and socioeconomic reforms, guided by His Majesty King Mohammed VI,” he continued. “We look forward to developing our relationship further. We are convinced that finding a solution to this issue would unlock enormous potential,” he said.

He concluded that the UK supports the UN’s efforts to find a political solution, while believing that the UN process is the best way to achieve a lasting and mutually acceptable settlement.

The Moroccan autonomy plan for settling the artificial dispute over the Sahara is the "best option" for the future of the region, British MPs stressed during a debate in the House of Commons.

11 mai 2024
London
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