France Declares Support for Sahara Autonomy Plan and Proposes New Partnership with Rabat

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
3 Min Read

This morning, Rabat and Paris thawed a significant portion of the frost that has characterized relations between the two countries for a long time. French Foreign Minister, Stéphane Séjourné, affirmed that “the issue of Sahara is the most prominent point in my visit to Morocco, and through the autonomy plan, Rabat must rely on Paris and its clear position in supporting this plan.”

During a press conference with his Moroccan counterpart, Nasser Bourita, Séjourné added, “France’s position is clear, and we want to resolve the conflict within a proposal that satisfies both parties. Progress in our stance on Sahara means adopting pragmatism in the file, supporting the efforts of UN envoy Stefan de Mistura to restart negotiations.”

The French Minister explained Paris’s position on the matter, stating, “Progress means social development in the southern regions, and Morocco has made significant developmental strides in many areas, meaning that Paris will support Morocco’s efforts in developing the southern regions. This is Paris’s current stance on the conflict.”

Séjourné pointed out, “Choosing Morocco as my first visit to the region came considering the exceptional bond, and President Macron wants to maintain this bond.”

The French official emphasized that “Macron asked me to renew this bond, and many ministers, including those of economy and culture, as well as the mayor of Paris, will visit the Kingdom in the future, and vice versa for Moroccan officials.”

Séjourné mentioned that “the roadmap is clear in light of the upcoming deadlines, with mutual respect. The past few months have seen important discussions to strengthen this relationship.”

“Our goal is to build a partnership that extends over the next 30 years, as Morocco has developed significantly under the reign of the Moroccan monarch, and we must foresee the forthcoming challenges with the foresight to keep pace with the rapidly changing world,” the French diplomat noted.

He highlighted France’s support for cooperation between Morocco and the European Union, stating, “Through my experience in Europe, I will seek to enhance Moroccan-European cooperation,” explaining, “We discussed many regional issues, and Morocco in Africa always seeks peace and security, and France seeks to deal with Morocco in this regard.”

Séjourné concluded, saying, “We addressed issues such as resource sharing, combating terrorism, and human rights. Here, I congratulate the Kingdom on chairing the UN Human Rights Council, and we want to work with Morocco with full friendship and respect while preserving our common interests.” He also mentioned that “Paris awaits Bourita’s visit to Paris and is pleased to open a new chapter of cooperation.”

Soukaina Sghir

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