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Western Sahara: US Renews Call for Algeria to Engage in UN-Led Political Process

Rabat – Despite Algeria’s reluctance and desperate attempts to shirk responsibility in the Western Sahara dispute, the US has overtly called on the Algerian regime once again for its active engagement in the UN-led political process and to contribute to efforts that strive for a lasting and agreed-upon political solution to the conflict. 

US Deputy Assistant Secretary Joshua Harris reiterated his country’s appeal during an interview published by the US embassy in Algeria. The publishing of the interview came in conjunction with his visit to the North African country, where he held consultations with Algerian officials on Western Sahara.

Harris is also set to visit Morocco as part of his official trip.

Emphasizing the importance of “creativity, pragmatism, and realism,” the US official recalled the Security Council’s resolutions that emphasized the importance of involving all parties to the Western Sahara dispute in the UN-led political process.

“The same type of efforts that led to unsuccessful political processes in years past are not likely to yield results. That is why the Security Council has spoken very clearly about creating the spirit of realism and compromise, and the importance of all concerned expanding on their position.”

Resolution 2703 of October renewed the mandate of the peacekeeping operation in Western Sahara, MINURSOfor one year, until the end of October 2024.

It outlined Algeria’s central role, detailing that the Algerian regime is one of the main parties involved in the Sahara dispute. This has challenged Algeria’s year-long attempt to disassociate itself from its role. Algiers has been refusing to shoulder its responsibility in the dispute, claiming to be merely an observer.

Harris also refuted claims about a potential change of heart concerning the US recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over its southern provinces.

Asked whether the US changed its position, Harris emphasized that the US continues to view Morocco’s Autonomy Plan as a “serious, credible, and realistic” basis to end the dispute over Western Sahara and one potential approach to satisfy the aspirations for the people of Western Sahara.

“Peace cannot be imposed by an outside actor. This is where the personal envoy Mr. de Mistura comes in, and how critically important the UN political process is to reach an enduring result. We need a personal envoy to succeed.” he said.

He added that he returned to Algeria to have a new series of consultations with Algerian officials about “practical steps for a successful UN political process.”

This is not the first time the US asked Algeria to fully commit to the UN-led political process and to support the efforts being made by the UN special envoy to find a lasting solution to the dispute.

In June, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman called on Algeria to engage in the political process and to display “full support” for de Mistura as he intensifies efforts to achieve an enduring and dignified political solution for Western Sahara.

Algeria hosts the Polisario Front, a separatist group seeking to undermine Morocco’s territorial integrity. The Algerian regime hosts the separatist group in the Tindouf camps, providing them with logistical and financial support – including military training, finances, and unconditional support for their independence claims in Morocco’s southern provinces in the Western Sahara region.

Despite its support to the Polisario Front, Algerian representatives have rejected taking part in any new potential UN-moderated roundtables to relaunch talks and dialogue between the main parties to the Sahara dispute – Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, and the separatist group.

Source : Morocco World News