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Burkina Faso reaffirms support for ‘credible’ Moroccan Autonomy initiative

Burkina Faso has reaffirmed its support for the autonomy plan initiative presented by Morocco, stressing that this plan is ‘the only credible and realistic solution’ to resolve the dispute over the Moroccan Sahara.

In the joint communiqué issued at the end of the fourth meeting of the Joint Cooperation Commission held in Dakhla and co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Nasser Bourita, and his Burkina Faso counterpart, Olivia Ragnaghnewendé Rouamba, the head of Burkina Faso’s diplomacy also reiterated Burkina Faso’s ‘firm and constant’ support for the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Morocco.

She stressed that the opening of a consulate general in Dakhla on October 23, 2020 is in line with Burkina Faso’s historical position.

The Burkinabe Minister also praised the efforts of the United Nations as the exclusive and consensual framework for finding a realistic, practical and lasting solution to the Sahara dispute.

Burkina Faso joins the US which has also reiterated its support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan as a serious, credible, and realistic basis to end the dispute over Western Sahara.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently reaffirmed his country’s support for the Moroccan initiative during a meeting on Monday with Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita.

Morocco submitted the autonomy proposal to the UN Security Council in 2007 as part of its efforts to contribute to the UN-led political process with the aim of finding an agreed upon and implementable political solution to end the dispute over Western Sahara.

The plan suggests designating the Western Sahara regions a semi-autonomous region under Morocco’s sovereignty, allowing local populations full ownership to manage their social, economic, and political affairs. Defense and diplomacy would still remain the preserve of the central Moroccan government.

Over the years, the autonomy initiative has received a nod from a growing list of countries, most notably the US.

“The Secretary noted the United States continues to view Morocco’s autonomy Plan as serious, credible, and realistic, and one potential approach to meet the aspirations of the people of Western Sahara,” a readout from Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedan Patel quoted Blinken as saying during his meeting with Bourit.

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