The stability of the region “inevitably passes” through a definitive and permanent solution, as soon as possible, to the issue of Western Sahara, affirmed Sunday the former diplomat and minister, Abdelaziz Rahabi.
In an interview with the Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, Mr Rahabi indicated: “Assuming that security issues are indivisible, it makes no sense to mobilize to fight terrorism on the grounds that it undermines international security and stability, and at the same time adding fuel to fire and feeding a military conflict in the region by supporting Morocco in its intransigence. ”
For Mr Rahabi, “this double standard attitude on security issues does not serve stability in the region”, stressing that “stability in the region inevitably requires a definitive and permanent solution to the Western Sahara issue as soon as possible, returning to the political process through direct negotiations and on an agreed agenda for a definitive exit from the crisis”.
On the resumption of hostilities between Morocco and the Polisario Front, following the aggression of the Moroccan occupation army against the Sahrawi peaceful protesters in El-Guerguerat, Mr. Rahabi explained that “This war has been triggered by the blocking of the political process since 1991”, saying that it “reminded the international community of this problem and this people forgotten for 30 years (…) and therefore it can allow the acceleration of the political solution”.
The former diplomat pointed out that “the major countries and the European Union (EU) agree that there is a real delay in dealing with this conflict, which has been going on since 1975,” noting that “all countries are now calling for a peaceful political solution that can guarantee the Sahrawis their right to self-determination.” This in itself is a great achievement,” he estimated.
“In any event, the issue of Western Sahara remains a question of decolonization, in accordance with international law called upon by all parties, and the commitments made by Morocco to resolve this problem through a referendum on self-determination (…),” he recalled.
Commenting on Algeria’s support for the Saharawi cause, Mr. Rahabi said: ‘Historically, our position is clear and consistent regarding the causes of liberation. Anyone who knows the history of the Algerian Liberation War knows well that support for peoples for their independence is part of the Algerian identity and the tradition of its foreign policy, given that Algeria had supported liberation movements in Latin and Central America, Asia and Africa since the liberation war”.
Asked whether Western Sahara is “the main reason” for the Maghreb Union train stop -as claimed by some- Mr Rahabi confirmed that “this idea, conveyed by the media, is totally contrary to the truth, because the Maghreb Union was founded, + the problem of Western Sahara being established +, and this after the leaders of the region found common ground in Algeria on the separation of the Sahrawi cause and the construction of the Maghreb ” .
Contrary to what is argued, the former diplomat clarified that “the construction of the Maghreb Union generates a network of common interests between the states of the region and corroborates the settlement of the conflict”, stressing that “in this regard, Morocco had received a high-level Sahrawi delegation in 1989 before it retracted from the Marrakech agreement” and therefore , “it was Morocco that froze its participation in the activities of the Maghreb Union.”
Regarding the opening of the consulates of certain states, especially Arab states in the occupied Saharawi city of ElAaiun, Mr. Rahabi said that this position “is incompatible with international resolutions, in that Morocco has no sovereignty over territory still classified by the UN in the process of decolonization (…), this is a precedent in international relations “.
He added that the opening of these consulates “does not primarily affect” the process of the Sahrawi cause at both the AU and UN level, especially since it “does not serve the diplomatic interests” of the countries concerned.