Sahara: France will accept presence of sovereign states only at Abidjan summit

France would oppose the presence of puppet entities that do not have the status of a sovereign state at the next EU-Africa summit scheduled to be held in Abidjan, next November 29-30.

In the run-up to the fifth edition of this major institutional event to focus on the future of relations between the two continents, the French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who was paying his first official visit to Morocco on October 9, reaffirmed France’s support for the Moroccan autonomy proposal to resolve the Sahara conflict. He made it clear that his country’s position on this issue remains unchanged and constant.

“The autonomy plan is a good basis for negotiations,” he said, suggesting that it is on this basis that the UN Secretary-General should take initiatives.

At a press briefing in Rabat following his talks with his Moroccan counterpart, Nasser Bourita, the French Foreign Minister, dealing with the forthcoming EU-Africa summit, stressed that the criteria for participation in this summit should be based on “Sovereign States”. This excludes of course the presence of delegates from the pseudo-Sahrawi republic “SADR”, an Algeria-based puppet entity not recognized as a sovereign state by the United Nations or the European Union.

Jean-Yves Le Drian expressed hope that the Abidjan summit will trigger a new dynamic between the EU and Africa. “We want the summit to be held in good conditions. The choice of the participating countries must be based on a consensus and on the reality of sovereign states,” he insisted.

For Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, the visit of his French counterpart is part of an exceptional strategic partnership between the two countries, marked by regular contacts between the two heads of state, an economic dynamic, and a focus on increasing cultural cooperation.

Means to bolster further this strategic partnership will be discussed at the high-level Moroccan-French meeting to take place in Morocco in November 15 through 17. It will be preceded by an evaluation meeting scheduled for next week.

And to give even more momentum to bilateral relations, the French president will pay an official visit to Morocco in 2018 at the invitation of King Mohammed VI.


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