Lengthy Phone Call between King Mohammed VI and President Putin about Sahara

maroc-russiaKing Mohammed VI and Russian President Vladimir Putin had on Tuesday a lengthy telephone conversation, during which they discussed the latest developments of the Sahara issue.

The issue is to be debated by the Security Council on the basis of the new annual report the UN Secretary-General is to present by the end of April.

Morocco, which is in a diplomatic brawl with the UN SG Ban Ki-Moon after the latter’s biased remarks and hostile positions during his visit to Algeria early March, is closely following the issue to counter any further missteps at the UN level.

The two heads of state had an extensive phone conversation this Tuesday, April 12, and “expressed their strong concern at the latest developments in the Sahara issue at the level of the UN Secretariat,” a statement of the Royal Office said.

During his trip early March in Algiers and the Tindouf camps, Ban Ki-Moon had called the Sahara a territory “occupied” by Morocco and committed other diplomatic blunders, triggering a strong reaction on the part of the Moroccan government, people and civil society.

The Moroccan monarch and President Putin “agreed to enhance coordination and maintain continuous contact on this issue in order to reach a balanced and productive result at the end of the month,” the statement added.

The annual report on the Sahara that Ban Ki-Moon is to present soon will be debated by the members of the Security Council before they adopt a new resolution on the issue.

During their phone talk, the two leaders voiced their full satisfaction with the results of the recent Royal visit to Moscow, which “opened a new era in relations between the two countries and consecrated the establishment of an Extended Strategic Partnership,” said the Royal Office statement.

In the wake of the latest developments in the Moroccan Sahara issue, France, the traditional ally of Morocco, reiterated that its position on this issue, remained “unchanged” and that “any solution must be found within the framework of the United Nations.” This same standpoint was again expressed last Sunday by France’s Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, who was on an official visit to Algiers.

Like the US, France continues to reaffirm, to the great displeasure of the rulers of Algiers and the Polisario, that “the autonomy plan presented by Morocco in 2007 is a serious and credible basis for a negotiated solution.”

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