Algiers, Polisario dismayed by firmness of royal speech on the Sahara

In the wake of the speech delivered by King Mohammed VI on Monday night on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of the historic Green March, which led to Spain’s retrocession of the Saharan provinces to Morocco in 1975, the Polisario leader Brahim Ghali flew to Algiers to discuss with his Algerian sponsors the contents of the royal speech.

The firm positions on the future of the Moroccan Sahara, as expressed Monday by the King, have apparently depressed Algerian and Polisario leaders, especially when the sovereign said that “no settlement is possible outside the full sovereignty of Morocco on its Sahara, and outside the Autonomy Initiative, which the international community has recognized as serious and credible”.

The royal speech was received as a cold shower both at the Polisario headquarters in Rabouni and at Al Mouradia Palace in Algiers.

The torturer Brahim Ghali went to Algiers to seek the advice of Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel who have reportedly dictated to him the position to adopt in reaction to the royal speech.

Officially, this meeting is, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office, “part of the Algerian-Sahrawi concertation tradition”. The statement, which does not mention the royal speech, said that the talks “have notably made it possible to assess the situation of the Western Sahara issue at the regional, African and international levels and to review the state of cooperation between Algeria and SADR”.

Meanwhile, corroborative sources said the talks have focused entirely on the speech of Mohammed VI and the firm positions he reiterated over the Sahara.

The Algerian leaders found it hard to accept the paragraph in which the king declared that “all the parties that have concocted this dispute must fully shoulder their responsibility in order for a final solution to be reached,” the same sources said. The King was clearly alluding to the Algerian regime; even he did not name it.

Likewise, the Algerian and Polisario leaders did not appreciate the paragraph in which the Moroccan sovereign excluded the involvement of the African Union in the UN-sponsored settlement process of this territorial conflict. Actually, the pan-African organization demonstrated a blatant bias when it recognized and admitted, as a member country, the pseudo “SADR”, which does not fulfil the criteria of statehood and which has never been recognized by the UN.

For the King of Morocco, the United Nations Security Council is the only and exclusive international body empowered to supervise the Sahara issue settlement process.




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