Morocco Urges Algeria to Engage in Peace Rather than Chasing Illusions

Morocco holds Algeria responsible for respecting the principle of good neighborliness and considering the interests of the Algerian people who stand in lines to obtain the simplest foodstuffs

The Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations, Ambassador Omar Hilale, called on Tuesday in New York for Algeria, the main party in the regional conflict over the Sahara, to acknowledge the abject failure of its separatist project. He clarified that the available options are limited and that there is no alternative to a peaceful settlement if the authorities take into account the interests of the Algerian people.

Hilale stated, “Algeria today faces a choice: either engage in a peaceful approach that respects the principle of good neighborliness and the peaceful settlement of disputes, or persist in the abject and costly failure of the Polisario agenda with billions of dollars, at the expense of the well-being of the Algerian people who stand in lines to obtain the simplest foodstuffs.”

Algeria is the main supporter of the separatist Polisario Front and has played a negative role in resolving the artificial conflict by refusing to return to the “round table” talks on the Moroccan Sahara after the appointment of Staffan de Mistura as the new envoy for the conflict in 2021.

In his intervention during the regular session of the UN Committee of 24, which is being held from June 10 to 21, Hilale urged Algeria to draw lessons from the bitter failure of its separatist project in the Moroccan Sahara.

He added, “Instead of regurgitating its speeches about its alleged defense of the right to self-determination and claiming a false neutrality that no one believes, Algeria should acknowledge three fundamental truths: that the Sahara has always been Moroccan and will remain so until the end of time, that the Moroccan autonomy initiative is the only and unique solution to this conflict, within the framework of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom, and that Morocco will continue, with determination, to develop its southern provinces to make them a regional and continental hub.”

The inhabitants of the Moroccan Sahara affirm that development in the southern provinces has made significant progress. Mohamed Abaa, an elected representative of the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region, stressed before the members of the Committee of 24 in Caracas that “the Moroccan Sahara is now experiencing prosperity thanks to the massive investments launched by the Kingdom” since the recovery of its territorial integrity in 1975. He pointed out that this dynamic accelerated with the launch by King Mohammed VI of the new development model for the southern provinces in 2015.

This development model constitutes a mechanism for the implementation and acceleration of advanced regionalization, ensuring democratic governance and integrated sustainable human development, in line with the specificities of the Sahara region, and in full compliance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Thanks to this new development model, investments for the implementation of major projects have exceeded 10 billion dollars, particularly in the fields of infrastructure, health, education, training, industry, agriculture, renewable energy, and fishing, and the project completion rate exceeds 80%.

Hilale recalled that the Committee of 24 was created in 1961 by the United Nations General Assembly to implement resolution 1514, which enshrines the principle of self-determination, adopted by the same Assembly on December 14, 1960, highlighting the flaws in the implementation of resolution 1514 and the inappropriate use of the Committee of 24’s functions.

He emphasized that those who drafted resolution 1514 took care, in their great wisdom, to explain in detail the mechanisms for its implementation by supplementing it with another resolution, 1541.

Resolution 1541, which some seek to ignore, clearly defines the three options for implementing the principle of self-determination: independence, free association with an independent state, or integration. Resolution 2625 of 1970 adds the possibility of any other political status freely chosen.

Hilale added that some states, blinded by outdated ideologies, focus exclusively on the option of independence to the detriment of the other two alternative options, intensifying their malicious maneuvers to turn the Committee of 24 into a committee for balkanization, emphasizing that “self-determination does not necessarily mean independence and cannot be done at the expense of the territorial integrity of states.”

Resolution 1514 (article 6) clearly stipulates that any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and territorial integrity of any country is contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.

Hilale pointed out that these same states exaggerate in interpreting resolutions 1514 and 1541 by linking self-determination to a referendum process, whereas these resolutions do not refer to a referendum, which is merely a mechanism of expression. These resolutions do not require the holding of a referendum consultation for their relevant provisions to enter into force.

It is regrettable, he stressed, to note that the Committee of 24 has deviated from its original mission and that other essential elements of self-determination are not mentioned in our debates or even in the reports of this committee. It is also regrettable to see the rewriting of the Committee of 24’s mission by attributing an ideological charge to it.


Hilale recalled that in 1963, Morocco submitted to the Committee of 24 the question of its Saharan territories which were under Spanish domination.

In 1975, Morocco requested the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, which confirmed the existence of legal ties of allegiance between the sultans of Morocco and the tribes of the Moroccan Sahara, thus proving decisively Morocco’s sovereignty over its Sahara.

In accordance with this recognition, Morocco concluded the Madrid Agreement with Spain in 1975, thus consecrating the return of the Sahara to its motherland, Morocco, after 91 years of Spanish occupation.

Hilale recalled that “the United Nations General Assembly approved this agreement in its resolution 3458B of December 10, 1975, thus making Morocco’s recovery of its territorial integrity in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter, international law, and the spirit and letter of resolution 1514.”

He expressed regret that this issue has become a bilateral regional conflict after Algeria violated Article 6 of the aforementioned resolution 1514 by seeking to oppose Morocco’s legitimate rights to its Sahara and undermine its sovereignty and territorial integrity, by forming, hosting, arming, and financing the separatist armed group Polisario.

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