Morocco Seeks To Impose Solution In Western Sahara Conflict

Morocco seeks to impose solution in Western Sahara conflict

Rabat, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 31st Mar, 2022 ) :Boosted by Western support, Morocco is working to impose its own settlement in the long-running Western Sahara conflict, even at the cost of a falling out with its allies, analysts say.

Morocco and the Polisario Front, an independence movement backed by the kingdom's arch-rival Algeria, have been locked for decades in a bitter struggle over Western Sahara.

The monarchy sees the former Spanish colony as an integral part of its territory, with King Mohammed declaring in November that "Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara will never be up for negotiation".

This unbending stance appears to have paid off, with Germany and Spain coming out in favour of Rabat's 2007 "autonomy" plan to keep the phosphate-rich desert under Moroccan sovereignty.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares is expected in Rabat on Friday to relaunch bilateral relations after Madrid, dramatically reversing decades of policy, backed the plan in what Moroccans hailed as a "diplomatic coup".

"There is a consensus on the question of the Sahara. The whole of (Moroccan) society supports the cause, it's an absolute priority for every Moroccan," said Tajeddine Houssaini, professor of international relations at Rabat's Mohammed V University.

Western Sahara, with rich Atlantic fishing waters and access to key markets in West Africa, is 80 percent controlled by Morocco but considered a "non-autonomous territory" by the UN.

Spain withdrew in 1975 but the Polisario waged a long armed struggle for independence from Morocco before reaching a ceasefire in 1991 on the promise of an independence referendum.