Western Sahara European Parliament Rejects AntiMoroccan Amendment

Rabat – European Parliament, rejected on Wednesday an attempt to vote in a text hostile to Moroccan territorial integrity.An anti-Moroccan amendment presented by the Communist and Allies Group and the Green Group of the European Parliament extending the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to human rights issues was dismissed by 316 votes out of 658 Wednesday during the planetary session of the European Commission.The text was inserted in a report on the recommendation of the European Parliament to the Council of the EU concerning the 72nd session of the General Assembly of the UN. In May, the UN Security Council endorsed new peace talks between Morocco and Polisario while renewing for one year the mandate of MINURSO, its peacekeeping mission in the disputed region.The UN, in accordance to the international community, has stressed the necessity of coming up with a peaceful and consensual solution to the Western Sahara conflict. “By rejecting this amendment, the European Parliament reiterates its will to strengthen its strategic partnership with the EU and Morocco, on a solid basis in the interests of both sides,” Ahmed Réda Chami, Morocco’s ambassador to the EU, told Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).“I welcome the vote of the European Parliament, a large majority of whom remain convinced that such matters are the exclusive responsibility of the UN Security Council,” added Chami.The rejection suggest a growing awareness among European parliament members of the need to stay neutral in regard to the Sahara issue as dealt with within the United Nations, and thus to preserve the multidimensional strategic partnership with Morocco.

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