For the leaders of the Polisario Front, the main hurdle to the settlement of the Western Sahara conflict is obviously the undue leverage exerted by France in favor of the Moroccan occupier at the United Nations and at the European Union.
At a press conference held in Algiers, the Saharawi Foreign Minister, Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, reminded one by one all the twisted blows waged by the French Quai d’Orsay at the level of the UN Security Council during the last 40 years to ward off the holding of a referendum on self-determination in Western Sahara and the taking in charge by the Minurso of the monitoring of the human rights situation in the Sahrawi territories illegally occupied by Morocco.
The head of the Saharawi diplomacy says he does not understand why France invests all its forces in the stabilization of West Africa and the respect of the borders that it has itself set in this region and is at the same time wantonly bent on undermining the stability of the Maghreb.
Mr. Mohamed Salem Ould Salek also accuses Paris of pushing Morocco not to respect its international commitments. “By adopting such an insidious policy, France pushes the countries of the region to confrontation and steeping the Maghreb into a chronic instability,” said the head of the Saharawi diplomacy, adding that Paris has been working for all these years to block the settlement of the Saharawi issue from inside the UN Security Council and to do everything possible to ensure that MINURSO does not carry out its bounden mission.
This mission consists essentially of organizing a referendum on self-determination in occupied Western Sahara.
The Saharawi official recalled that France, since the beginning of the conflict, has armed, advised and supported Morocco politically and financially in its heinous colonial endeavor.
Mr. Mohamed Salem Ould Salek said he was convinced that “France is opposed to the organization of a referendum on self-determination in Western Sahara because it knows very well in favor of whom will go the votes that will be expressed”.
Mr. Ould Salek also accused the French government of attempting to prevent the implementation of the recent European Court of Justice’s decision, which clearly states that the agreements concluded between Brussels and Rabat do not apply to Western Sahara, which is an independent territory of Morocco.
France, he adds, is currently striving behind the scenes to try to exclude the Saharawi delegation from the EU-AU Summit, which is scheduled to take place in November in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Paris seems to want to torpedo the upcoming event. This prompts Mohamed Salem Ould Salek to argue that in the case of the conflict of Western Sahara, the main decision center is not in Rabat, but rather in the Elysée. For him, the situation will not change as long as France continues to violate international legality.
Furthermore, “the Moroccan regime has been desperately seeking to drag Algeria into the Western Sahara conflict as a party to negotiate with, even though it’s crystal clear for the international community that the two parties at issue are obviously Morocco and the Saharawi people’s only representative namely the Polisario Front”, he underscored.
Mr. Ould Salek stressed to this effect that Morocco’s wanton devious policy is mainly aimed at hoodwinking and deceiving its public opinion at home.
The head of the Saharawi diplomacy said that the new personal envoy of the Secretary of the UN in Western Sahara, Horst Köhler, who is due to tour the region next week will soon realize this bleak reality, namely that the main blocking factor is France.
On the occasion, Mr. Mohamed Salem Ould Salek reiterated the Saharawi leaders’ full readiness to cooperate fully with the UN and MINURSO for the decolonization of Western Sahara on the basis of the UN-Sponsored agreement signed in 1991 between the Polisario Front and Morocco.