For the United States, independence is not an option to settle the Moroccan Sahara issue, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) pointed out in an article published on Sunday. “Officials involved in the talks said the U.S. has made it clear that Washington won’t support a plan that leads to a new African nation,” the newspaper underlined in an article by Dion Nissenbaum.
“It has made clear in private talks that the U.S. backs Morocco in its opposition to the creation of an independent nation, according to Moroccan and Western officials involved in negotiations,” it said, noting that “those assurances helped bring Morocco back to the talks.” “White House efforts to resolve this small African problem come with risks. Failure could stoke discontent in one of the few remaining pockets of stability in North Africa, creating new opportunities for Islamic State or al Qaeda to expand,” it added.
“Minurso has $52 million to keep stability, to keep a cease-fire in a region which is very difficult,” said Morocco’s minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “No one has died since the cease-fire, which means this is the most cost-effective peacekeeping mission in the world,” Bourita noted.
“However, talks are on hold for now, with neighboring Algeria roiled by protests that forced the president’s resignation in April. In May, Horst Kohler, the former German president overseeing the new talks as the U.N.’s special envoy on Western Sahara, unexpectedly stepped aside for personal reasons,” the US newspaper pointed out. The Wall Street Journal underlined that Morocco has made huge efforts to develop the Sahara region.