Chancellor Karl Nehammer pointed out that the Austrian country considers the Moroccan proposal a "serious and credible contribution" to the political process developed by the UN

Austria apoya la iniciativa de Marruecos para el Sáhara Occidental

photo_camera PHOTO/FACEBOOK/AZIZ AKHANNOUCH - Karl Nehammer, Aziz Akhannouch and Nasser Bourita

Morocco continues to gain support for its plan for Western Sahara. In this case, Austria has shown itself to be in favour of the Moroccan kingdom's plan to solve the problem of the Saharawi territory, considering it a "serious and credible contribution" to finding a feasible solution to a question that has been dragging on for more than four decades.  

Since 2007, Morocco has been proposing a broad autonomy for Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty, respecting the resolutions of the United Nations (UN). This proposal has received significant support from a number of important countries such as the United States, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and even Spain, the former metropolis that once controlled the colony in the territory. These nations and others have highlighted the Moroccan initiative as the most serious, credible and realistic way to resolve the Saharawi conflict. 


Austria's approval represents a new breakthrough for Moroccan diplomacy on an issue of vital importance to the North African country. In this case, further support comes from the very heart of Europe.  

Along these lines, the Austrian Chancellor, Karl Nehammer, on a visit to the North African country, pointed out that his country considers the autonomy project for the Sahara as a "serious and credible contribution" to the political process being carried out to resolve the Saharawi dispute, which is headed by the UN, now with the visible head of the UN Secretary General's special envoy for the Sahara, Staffan de Mistura.  

In a joint statement issued after a meeting in Rabat between the head of the Moroccan government, Aziz Akhannouch, and the Austrian Chancellor, Morocco and Austria affirmed their support for the efforts of Staffan de Mistura, and their commitment to continue the political process aimed at achieving a "just, lasting, political and mutually acceptable solution", in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions and the objectives and principles enshrined in the UN Charter.


For his part, Nasser Bourita, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, who received in Rabat the Austrian Deputy Federal Minister for European and International Affairs, Peter Launsky, underlined the Austrian support for the work of the UN and its special envoy, and by extension for the United Nations Mission for Western Sahara (MINURSO). The Moroccan diplomatic official stressed the strong will to develop relations between Morocco and Austria in various fields such as diplomatic, economic, social, security and cultural, while developing security cooperation to combat extremism and terrorism.  

Morocco's autonomy plan for Western Sahara includes a project for the territory that would allow for its economic and social development; something that would allow for the evolution of the population in the area and would serve to improve living conditions. 


In this vein, Mohamed al-Tayyar, a Moroccan researcher in security and strategic studies, confirmed to The Arab Weekly that 'Austria's position on the autonomy proposal is consistent with the nature of the relations it has with Morocco, and is an explicit position in addition to the positions of many balanced countries such as Germany, Spain and others'. "The countries of Europe have openly and unequivocally declared their respect for Morocco's sovereignty over its southern provinces, as well as their support for its efforts to resolve the dispute fabricated by the Algerian regime," Al-Tayyar explained, as reported by Al-Arab.  

This new international support for Morocco contrasts with the other existing option defended by the Polisario Front, which advocates holding a referendum on independence for the Sahrawi people, which is very difficult to achieve, as various experts have pointed out, when taking into account different requirements, such as the establishment of the electoral roll. This alternative has less support on the international scene, including Algeria, Morocco's great regional enemy in the Maghreb. Algeria and Morocco continue to clash over their deep political differences on a number of issues, including the future of Western Sahara. A clash that came to a head with Algeria's decision to break off diplomatic relations with the neighbouring country in August 2021 on the accusation of carrying out "hostile acts" and because of these political clashes over Western Sahara. 

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