A Spanish Institute Pleads for Western Sahara Autonomy
Moroccans are not the only side arguing that the most appropriate solution to the Western Sahara conflict lies in granting autonomy to the provinces subject of the territorial dispute with the Polisario.
The idea finds supporters even in Spain, the former colonial power of the territory.
The Madrid-based think tank “Real Instituto El Cano” published on Monday a lengthy report in which it unequivocally supports the option to grant the Western Sahara autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty as the best solution that would shield the entire region from destabilization risks and dangers that may be entailed by the creation of a micro -state.
In the report drafted by over 200 Spanish experts, researchers and parliamentarians, the El Cano Institute, founded in 2001 by the Prince of Asturias, asserts that the situation in Western Sahara is a source of “concern beyond the Maghreb.”
The report, titled “Hacia una renovación estratégica the la política exterior española” (Towards a strategic overhaul of Spanish foreign policy), suggests that “Spain could adopt a more proactive stance, when conditions are favorable, to consider a solution of genuine and guaranteed autonomy.”
The report authors dwelt on the demographic changes that took place both in Western Sahara, where thousands of Moroccans from the north have settled, and in the Tindouf camps, where many nomads from the Sahel found refuge to benefit from international assistance.
The Spanish pundits and researchers called Madrid to support the Morocco-proposed autonomy plan that is likely to meets, once the conditions are met, the aspirations of both Morocco and the Polisario Front.
In another development, the founding chairman of the Czech Republic – Morocco friendship parliamentary group, Vaclav Zemek, said the Moroccan autonomy proposal that has been described repeatedly on the international diplomatic scene as “serious and credible” provides an opportunity to end “a stalemate that is delaying a political solution to this issue.”
The Moroccan initiative is the right solution to the Sahara conflict, assured Zemek, who is member of the ruling Czech Social Democratic Party, Vice–chairman of the Environment Committee and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Czech Parliament.
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