The outgoing president of the United States, Donald Trump, recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara on Thursday, while announcing the normalization of relations between Morocco and Israel.
“Today I signed a proclamation recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara. Morocco’s serious, credible and realistic autonomy proposal is the ONLY basis for a just and lasting solution for lasting peace and prosperity!” Trump wrote on his Twitter account.
In a second post on the social network, he added: “Another HISTORICAL milestone today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive milestone for peace in the Middle East!”
The outgoing US president concluded his tweeting announcements by recalling that “Morocco recognized the United States in 1777.” That is, just two years after the start of its war of independence against the Kingdom of Great Britain.
“It is therefore appropriate that we recognize their sovereignty over Western Sahara,” he said.
“An independent Sahrawi state is not realistic”
The text of Trump’s proclamation states that “the US believes that an independent Sahrawi state is not a realistic option to resolve the conflict and that genuine autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty is the only viable solution.”
“We urge the parties to start talks without delay, using the Moroccan autonomy plan as the only framework to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution,” the president urged.
“To facilitate progress toward this goal, the United States will encourage economic and social development with Morocco, including the territory of Western Sahara, and to that end open a consulate in the territory of Western Sahara, in Dakhla, to promote economic opportunities and commercial in the region “.
Moroccan king agrees to resume relations with Israel
In a statement, the White House revealed that Trump spoke on Thursday with the Moroccan king, Mohamed VI, to whom he reiterated his support for “the proposal of serious, credible and realistic autonomy of Morocco, as the only basis for a just and to the dispute over the territory of Western Sahara “.
During that conversation, according to the White House, the Moroccan king “agreed to resume diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel and to expand economic and cultural cooperation to promote stability in the region.”
Fourth Arab country to normalize ties with Israel, sponsored by Trump
With this announcement, Morocco becomes the fourth Arab country to normalize ties with Israel under the auspices of the Trump Administration, after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain they were established last September and soon after in Sudan.
In these agreements, Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, an eminent member of the Jewish community in the United States, has played a fundamental role, to whom the president has delegated the function of mediating to reach those pacts.
In a phone call with journalists, Kushner explained that Morocco and Israel will shortly launch direct flights connecting them and “embassies will be opened in the near future.”
Asked whether Spain and the UN were involved in the talks, Kushner recalled “the strong relationship between the US and Morocco” and the commercial and intelligence ties between the two.
“We want the people of the Polisario to have better opportunities”
“This is an issue that has been around for a long time, and frankly, there has been no progress on a resolution, and the hope is that this step is, number one, an acknowledgment of the inevitability of what is going to happen, but it can also break the blockade and help advance issues in Western Sahara, where we want the people of the Polisario to have better opportunities for a better life, “he explained.
Rabat’s reaction was swift and the Moroccan government confirmed that it will establish diplomatic relations with Israel “as soon as possible” and the opening of direct flights between the two countries.
The ties will materialize in “the reopening of the liaison offices in the two countries,” such as those that existed until 2002, which suggests that they will not have the rank of embassies, and will be offices with a mainly economic and technological purpose.
These measures, which constitute a great turnaround in Moroccan politics and an unprecedented achievement in its international support on the Sahara issue, were announced in a statement from the Moroccan Royal Cabinet, given that foreign policy is one of the exclusive domains of the monarch.
The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic will intensify its struggle for independence
For its part, the Polisario Front condemned Trump’s decision to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the territories it has occupied since 1975 in the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara.
In statements, to which the Spanish agency Efe had access, the Saharawi representative to the European Union, Oubi Bachir, considered that the resolution signed by the North American president does not change the legal and historical nature of Western Sahara and warned that the Arab Republic Saharawi Democratica (SADR) will intensify its struggle for independence.
The Polisario Front and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, recognized by about 70 states, also asked the UN to condemn the decision of the outgoing president of the United States, Donald Trump, to recognize the sovereignty of Morocco over the territories it has occupied since 1975 in the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara.
For the moment, the UN limited itself to recalling that the solution to the conflict must be based on the Security Council resolutions and assured that its position does not change at all with the recognition of Moroccan sovereignty in the territory by the United States.
From Ramallah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, Arancha González Laya, who is visiting Israel and Palestine, also urged respect for the UN resolutions on Western Sahara.
The outgoing US president, Donald Trump, thus also manages to open yet another gap in the symbolic unity of the Arab countries in support of the creation of a Palestinian state, as stated in UN Resolution 181 that started in 1947 Palestine, under British mandate, to create two States, that of Israel and that of Palestine.
The Arab countries had agreed not to recognize Israel until a Palestinian state was also created; Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994 were the first to break that pact.
One of the first benefits obtained by the United Arab Emirates, after establishing relations with Israel, has been the purchase of highly sophisticated American weapons that until then had been banned from it. With the backing of the Israeli government, Washington approved the sale of 50 F-35 stealth fighter jets and 18 MQ-9 Reaper drones to the Emirates last November.