Saturday, July 21, 2012

France Reaffirms Support for Autonomy Plan

Pascal Canfin, France's development minister, repeated France's support for Morocco's autonomy plan in order to solve the Western Sahara dispute. While on a visit to Rabat, Canfin stated that France desired the situation to be resolved diplomatically and under United Nations guidelines. Read More.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Morocco Loses Confidence in UN Envoy

The government of Morocco released a statement stating it would “withdraw its confidence” in the UN’s Western Sahara Envoy, Christopher Ross. Along with blasting a recent UN report which said Morocco was spying on the UN’s forces in the region, the statement alleged that Ross was giving “biased” advice. Rabat also showed frustration with the negotiation process, saying it had produced no results. Read More

Thursday, April 19, 2012

UN Begins Family Visit Program in Western Sahra

As part of the Confidence-Building Measures between the UNHCR, Polisario, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, the UNHCR started its family-visit program by flying 150 people from Western Sahara to camps in Tindouf. The program aims to let long-separated families to visit each other for five days. With up to 6000 people expected to take part in the program, a Boeing 737 is being used to shuttle family members between the two locations. Read More

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

French Foreign Minsiter Endorses Autonomy Plan

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe stated last week that Morocco’s autonomy plan was the most “realistic” solution at ending the dispute in Western Sahara. Juppe, who made his remarks at the beginning of an official visit to Morocco, said that the process must still go through the United Nations. Juppe further said that the dispute should not hinder the recent thaw in relations between Algeria and Morocco. Read More.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Algerian President Upset at Clinton’s Remarks

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commended Morocco’s autonomy plan, prompting Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to comment that the people of Western Sahara should vote on whether to accept the plan or to gain independence. He also stated his wish that UN talks begin recommence. Read More.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Polisario Angered at EU Fishing Mandate

The Polisario Front reacted harshly to a February 3rd decision by the European Commission to negotiate a new fishing agreement with Morocco. Polisario’s Europe representative, Mohamed Sidati, stated that the agreement clashes with the European Parliament’s rejection of a similar agreement last December. Sidati said that the Polisario’s involvement was necessary in the negotiating process in order to not violate international law. Read More.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Moroccan Foreign Minister Visits Algeria

Moroccan Foreign Minister Sadd Eddine Othmani visited Algeria last week, marking the first time since 2003 that a Moroccan foreign minister has visited the country. The trip aims to address the Western Sahara conflict, which has caused tensions between Morocco and the Polisario, which is backed by Algeria. The Foreign Minister will also be discussing putting in renewed effort into the Arab Maghreb Union. Read More.