Mon 18/01/2021

Biden can backtrack on Trump’s move in Western Sahara

1 week ago at 10/Jan/2021 108

Joe Biden can backtrack on the decision of outgoing US President Donald Trump on recognizing so-called Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara without “strategic consequences,” said three US academics in an article published in the American magazine Foreign Policy.

“There are three reasons why the United States’ recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara is a peculiar policy reversal,” said the authors of the text, Joseph Huddleston, Harshana Ghoorhoo, Daniela A. Maquera Sardon, three researchers from Setan Hall University (United States) specializing in questions of international politics.

The authors of the article noted, moreover, that one of the most striking elements in Donald Trump’s proclamation (made on December 10) is the fact that it was linked to the normalization of diplomatic relations between the Moroccan regime and the Zionist entity. This normalization was the price to be paid by Morocco to “win” the recognition of the outgoing American president, note the academics.

They added that Trump’s decision was made public “as Morocco and the Polisario Front, the Sahrawi liberation movement, are engaged in active armed conflict.”

They recalled the illegal nature of the Moroccan presence in Western Sahara, by virtue of United Nations resolutions and verdicts along affirmed by several international courts.

“This means that Sahrawi self-determination activists—and the Polisario Front—are not “separatists,” as both the Washington Post and New York Times have reported, but a decolonization movement,” say the three academics.

The fact that “the United States uncritically take the side of an occupation—as a bargaining chip in tangential negotiations, and during active armed conflict, no less—demonstrates that U.S. foreign-policy now favors power over law and unilateral action over cooperation,” they said.

“In theory, the Moroccan government could respond to a U.S. reversal by revoking its new diplomatic ties with Israel, but it would pay a bigger price for such a move than would the United States,” said the academics.

“The present moment is a crisis. It is also an opportunity—for the United States and for the United Nations. A Biden administration committed to anti-colonial justice and to international cooperation as the pathway to conflict resolution could seize this opportunity to empower the U.N. Security Council to at last implement the referendum that will resolve the conflict once and for all,” they pointed out.

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