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LaPresse: Germany-Morocco: Cooperation for a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Western Sahara

German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, at a joint press conference in Berlin with her Moroccan counterpart, Nasser Bourita.

MILAN, Italy, July 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — This was issued by LaPresse. Germany and Morocco want to strengthen their cooperation, particularly on the issue of conflicts such as the one in Western Sahara. This was stated by the German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, at a joint press conference in Berlin with her Moroccan counterpart, Nasser Bourita, on Thursday. Baerbock emphasised, in particular, that Morocco’s autonomy plan presented in 2007 for the Sahara region can be an important basis for finding a solution that can be accepted by all parties involved in the conflict. Bourita, in turn, pointed out that the Moroccan government is continuing to work with the United Nations to find a diplomatic solution. “We are working to find a solution within the framework of the United Nations and together we support the efforts of special envoy Staffan de Mistura. Morocco is looking for a solution to this problem within the framework of the autonomy project we presented. We are working with de Mistura, with the United Nations as a whole, to find a solution to this regional conflict that has been dragging on for 40 years,” said Bourita, whose visit follows that of Baerbock to Morocco last August. On that occasion, a strategic dialogue was established between the two countries, after the tensions following German criticism of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, recognised by former US President Donald Trump. Rabat had described these remarks as “hostile.” The strategic dialogue between the two countries is scheduled to take place every two years alternately in Morocco and Germany, under the chairmanship of the foreign ministers of both countries. The Western Sahara region has been claimed by Morocco and the Sahrawi people, led by the Polisario Front (from the Spanish Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro), successor to the Sahara Liberation Movement. The Polisario Front is campaigning for a referendum on independence and has the support of the UN. The German Foreign Minister emphasised that Berlin supports the UN’s mediation work for a “realistic, pragmatic, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution.” “We know that the issue of Western Sahara is particularly important for Morocco. We reiterate our long-standing support for the UN-led process. It is the most promising path to an equitable political solution,” Baerbock said.

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