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France must have its position on the Sahara assessed

“It’s time for France to have its position on the Sahara assessed” to follow in the footsteps of the United States, which has recognized the Kingdom’s full sovereignty over its southern provinces, said Abdelmalek Alaoui, president of the Moroccan Institute. of strategic intelligence (IMIS), in an interview with the magazine “Jeune Afrique” published on Friday. Mr. Alaoui points the finger at “the double language” on the part of countries which present themselves as partners, in particular on the question of the Sahara, recalling that France, which is preparing to grant a large autonomy to Corsica, “refuses yet to take the plunge in the full and complete recognition of the territorial integrity of Morocco”. Asked about the reasons that prevent Paris from taking the step of recognition in a more frank way, like the United States, the president of IMIS notes that this “cautiousness” to adopt the same position as Washington would be linked to “a fear of straining even more complicated relations with Algiers, particularly at the level of the memorial site”. “I think that’s part of the explanation”, he insists, recalling however that the current French position remains “very largely favorable” to Morocco through support for the autonomy plan, that the France was one of the first countries to support after its unveiling in 2007. “France has now entered the second – and last – term of President Macron.

There is therefore an opportunity to take the plunge and have the French position of support for the autonomy plan assessed towards full and complete recognition of the Moroccan Sahara”, notes Mr. Alaoui. The political scientist recalls, in the same vein, the new Dutch position, which is “very important”, the Netherlands being the keystone of northern Europe, by geography and culture, saying he is convinced that others will follow. “It is the meaning of history, because we know that separatism only engenders chaos and imbalances”, affirms the president of IMIS, who also returns to the reasons behind the last “reversal” in Hispano-Moroccan relations. Regarding the diplomatic successes achieved by the Kingdom in recent years, particularly in the Sahara issue, Mr. Alaoui maintains that the combination of these diplomatic “coups” is part of the new foreign policy doctrine deployed by HM King Mohammed VI for more than twenty years. “They are only the tip of the iceberg of a well-understood strategy conceptualized upstream which is based on renewed fundamentals of the position that Morocco must occupy in the concert of nations”, he observes.

Schematically, continues the political scientist, Morocco has long been a pivotal country between East and West, one of the cornerstones of dialogue on the Middle East, for example, under the reign of the late SM Hassan II, arguing that with the new vision of HM King Mohammed VI, the North-South and South-South dimensions have been added to it, with in particular this conviction that Morocco is not only the gateway to Africa, but also the catalyst for South-South partnerships. “It is this shift in the center of gravity of Moroccan foreign policy, including the return to the African Union, which has made it possible to neglect the diplomatic position of the Kingdom. This resulted in diplomatic victories where HM Roi was on the front line, Mr. Alaoui explained.


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