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Morocco Should Implement Its Long Awaited Autonomy Plan


Last month, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita visited Washington to discuss the Western Sahara question and, importantly, the status of US-Morocco relations, and was reported to seriously question whether the US still considers its relationship with Morocco of strategic importance. Also, on April 26th, the UN Security Council renewed the MINURSO mandate for the Western Sahara, to maintain the peacekeeping mission to police the 1991 ceasefire between Morocco and the Algerian backed rebel group known as the Polisario. While stronger in its wording in favor of Morocco, the resolution continues to show no willpower by the US and UN to live up to past agreements with Morocco.

This raises the question of how much longer can Morocco wait before it unilaterally implements its proposal to offer autonomy for the people living in the Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty. The US has been a close ally of Morocco on issues of common concern, and admires and supports it on its security efforts and its push to enact democratic and economic reforms, but the US has not been a consistent or reliable partner on the Sahara question for the past two decades...

from Morocco on the Move

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Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel

Ambassador Gabriel is a former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco and currently President of the American Task Force for Lebanon. He has an extensive background in international affairs, having convened multilateral policy forums involving national security, environmental, and trade and energy issues.