Polisario congress: 'Morocco reserves the right to take all necessary actions', FM
Polisario congress: 'Morocco reserves the right to take all necessary actions', FM Website
Morocco has made it clear that it will take "all necessary" actions in reaction to the Algerian-backed separatist movement "polisario" to hold its congress in the buffer Zone of Tifariti in the Moroccan Sahara,"The kingdom of Morocco reserves the right to take all necessary actions to react to this regrettable development that is rejected and denounced by the whole Moroccan people" Foreign Minister, Taieb Fassi Fihri, said in a letter sent Wednesday to the UN Secretary general, Ban Ki-moon. He said the latest developments "seriously impair the climate of serenity that is essential to the process of negotiations and, thus, jeopardizes the chances of success of the 3rd round to which you have, last week, officially invited the parties". Morocco and the Polisario are expected to hold a third round of negotiations (January 7-9) in Manhasset, New York, in a bid to reach an agreement to settle the 32-year old Sahara dispute. The two previous rounds were held respectively in June and August and were facilitated by the UN. The Moroccan official also called on the MINURSO (UN peace-keeping mission in the Sahara) to react to "the serious violation of the ceasefire agreement" in the buffer zone of Tifariti, and to the increasing number of military incursions of other parties in this zone "from the Algerian territory without any reaction of the MINURSO”. He dismissed the separatists’ allegations that the Tifariti zone is part of what they call + free territories+ or +zone under (their) sovereignty +”, while the truth is that it was set up to "avoid any new clashes, including with the Algerian army and to contribute to the consolidation of the ceasefire agreements", concluded in 1991. On Wednesday, the two houses of the Moroccan parliament held a special session on the Sahara at the end of which they issued a declaration condemning the threat by the "Polisario" to resume armed struggle with Morocco, deeming it an "obstacle" to peace. This is the first time in 16 years that the Polisario proposes to its congress the resumption of the armed struggle as a strategy since the 1991 UN-brokered ceasefire, at a time when the separatists are holding peace negotiations with Morocco. Such a behavior, the declaration read, “not only stems from the bitter failure of the Polisario to face up the growing support of the International Community to Morocco’s autonomy proposal for the Sahara, but is an additional proof of its lack of care about peace and stability in the Maghreb region, part of which has become a breeding ground for terrorists activities with the complicity of the separatists leadership.” A former colony, the Sahara was ceded by Spain to Morocco in 1975 by virtue of the Madrid Accords.