Thirty British MPs Urge David Cameron to Support Moroccan Autonomy Plan for the Sahara

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David Cameron
David Cameron

Around 30 British parliamentarians and Lords sent a letter this Friday to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Cameron, in which they call, in a bipartisan approach, on the British executive to support ”officially and without delay” the plan of Moroccan autonomy as the ”only solution” to the artificial conflict around the Moroccan Sahara.

In addition to being the “most pragmatic” path, the autonomy initiative proposed by Morocco for the Sahara, which “respects local traditions and democratic aspirations, offers a viable solution to achieve peace and lasting stability,” underlined the deputies and members of the House of Lords.

While recalling that the initiative is “widely supported” by London’s allies and more than 80 countries around the world, the signatories specified that the rallying around this plan, which constitutes “the only realistic solution”, testifies to the desire of international partners to promote regional stability and prosperity, “thus reinforcing the central role of the autonomy initiative in advancing peace efforts”.

“There must be no room for more separatism or division,” they insisted, assuring that on the contrary, Morocco’s “proactive commitment to promoting regional security and stability must be reinforced”.

“Remaining neutral or attempting alternative resolutions can only perpetuate a harmful status quo that endangers the security of the region,” they argued.

While several of them visited Morocco and its Southern Provinces, where they had the opportunity to meet local leaders, representatives of civil society and human rights organizations, the signatories said their observations, coupled with those of respected academics such as Professor Marc Weller, Chair of International Law and International Constitutional Studies at the University of Cambridge, reinforce their “belief that the UK must provide proactive support to Morocco’s autonomy plan.

Additionally, the Sahara region has the potential to significantly improve energy opportunities, secure supply chains, and enable access to new markets, they wrote, citing strategic infrastructure, for example of the “impressive” port of Dakhla, as proof of sustainable progress, allowing the region to establish itself as a pole of innovation and international cooperation.

To fully realize this potential, “London must provide support from its financial institutions, such as UK export finance (UKEF) and British international investment (BII)”, they continued, recalling that this approach, adopted in particular by the United States and France, is compatible with the association agreement concluded between the two countries (UK and Morocco), which covers the Moroccan Sahara region and which was deemed legal by the High Court in London.

The MPs added that the United Kingdom must strengthen its alliances with stable, like-minded nations “in order to promote regional stability and international security”, ensuring that among these partner nations, Morocco “occupies a preponderant place”.

“It is a leading strategic ally in North Africa, which shares crucial values and perspectives for our two countries,” they continued.

The forthcoming strategic dialogue between the UK and Morocco represents a unique opportunity for the UK to redefine its role and influence in the region, the signatories noted, assuring us that “Morocco deserves our full and unequivocal support”.

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