Belgium Calls Morocco’s Autonomy Plan ‘Good Basis’ For Resolving Sahara Issue

By: Napoleon Ato Kittoe

Belgium considers Morocco’s autonomy plan, presented in 2007, as “a good basis for a solution accepted by the parties” regarding the Western Sahara issue.

This statement came in a joint declaration issued after talks between Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, and Hadja Lahbib, Belgium’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs and Foreign Trade and Federal Cultural Institutions.

“Belgium considers the autonomy plan, presented in 2007, as a serious and credible Moroccan effort and as a good basis for a solution accepted by the parties,” says the joint declaration.

In this context, the Belgian minister reiterated Belgium’s long-standing support for the UN-led process for a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution.

According to the Joint Statement, the two ministers agreed on the exclusivity of the UN in the political process and reaffirmed their support for UN Security Council Resolution 2602, which noted the role and responsibility of all parties in the search for a realistic, pragmatic, sustainable and compromise-based political solution.

Morocco and Belgium also welcomed the appointment of Staffan de Mistura as the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General on the Western Sahara issue.  Their joint communique reaffirmed active support to his efforts to advance the political process on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

With this position, Belgium joins the list of European countries that clearly support the autonomy plan such as Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Hungary, Romania, Portugal and Serbia.

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