The German Foreign Minister describes Rabat's proposal as a "good basis" during her first visit to Morocco in five months

Alemania reitera su apoyo al plan marroquí para el Sáhara Occidental

photo_camera AFP/FADEL SENNA - Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita (R) receives his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock in the capital Rabat on 25 August 2022

The German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, reiterated on Thursday in Rabat her country's support for the Moroccan autonomy plan for Western Sahara, which she described as "a good basis" for reaching a solution to the conflict.  

Baerbock made this statement at a joint press conference with her counterpart, Nasser Bourita, on her first visit to Morocco five months after the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, which put an end to a serious bilateral crisis that had lasted almost a year.  

The German minister said she was aware of the "great and important" role of the Sahara issue for Morocco, while insisting on the UN's position as the "best framework" and "most likely" to succeed in reaching a "just, lasting and consensual" solution to the conflict.

Baerbock welcomed the appointment of the UN Secretary General's personal envoy, the Italian-Swedish diplomat Staffan de Mistura, and reaffirmed his country's "full support" for his efforts to reach a settlement to the conflict.  

For his part, Bourita said that Baerbock's visit was a "strong sign" of the firmness of bilateral relations, which "got a new boost" since they were re-established. At the same time, he welcomed Berlin's position on the Sahara conflict.  

The Moroccan minister described Germany's position in its support for the Moroccan proposal as "balanced and coherent" with the position of both the European Union and the resolutions of the Security Council. "The Moroccan autonomy plan appears in the same UN resolutions and is coherent with international legality and the new international dynamic," he said.  

The Moroccan minister insisted that "when European and non-European countries support this plan, it does not contradict the UN resolutions"

On the other hand, the minister praised Morocco's efforts in the fight against irregular emigration, deplored the latest tragedy of the mass attempt to jump from Melilla on 24 June, in which 23 people died, and stressed the need to consolidate cooperation with Rabat in this area.

Annalena Baerbock Nasser Bourita

The two ministers also agreed to strengthen their relations in different areas, specifically in the field of energy, with the development of green hydrogen projects, and in the fight against climate change. 

Morocco has been in an open crisis with Germany since May 2021, when it summoned its ambassador to Berlin in response to "hostile acts", when it attributed to the German authorities the questioning of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.  

In March 2021, the Moroccan foreign ministry sent a letter to all members of the Moroccan government ordering the suspension of any contact or relations with the German embassy in Rabat, citing "profound misunderstandings". 

The German authorities began sending out signals last December to improve the state of ties with Morocco. And a note from German diplomacy on Morocco's 'important contribution' to the Sahara conflict resolution process encouraged rapprochement between the two countries.  

In a speech last Saturday, King Mohammed VI referred to Germany's "constructive stance" on the Sahara conflict, along with other countries such as Spain and the Netherlands.

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