The United States opens a representation in the Western Sahara

Diplomatic sources announced that the United States will open, on Sunday, a representation in Western Sahara, the last unresolved former African colonies, which Morocco and the Polisario Front independents claim.

The US embassy said the exact role and status of these offices will be detailed on Sunday.

The representation will be installed in Dakhla, a fishing port in southern Western Sahara that is set to become a “regional maritime center” supplying Africa and the Canary Islands, thanks to a massive project launched by Rabat.

The initiative, organized in the last days of US President Donald Trump’s term, conflicts with the position of the United Nations that considers Western Sahara an autonomous region awaiting its final status.

The event will be chaired by Deputy Secretary of State for Middle East and North Africa Affairs David Schenker – who began a “historic visit” to Western Sahara on Saturday, arriving in El-Ayoun, the region’s capital – and will chair the event, according to his Twitter account. The US Embassy in Morocco.

This symbolic diplomatic gesture stems from the tripartite agreement signed on December 22nd between the Americans, Israelis and Moroccans, for the sake of diplomatic normalization between Morocco and Israel, with Washington’s recognition of Rabat’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.

This happens when the UN political negotiations over this desert region, northern Mauritania, stopped decades ago.

Morocco, which controls about two-thirds of this region, wants “autonomy under control.” The Polisario Front, with support from neighboring Algeria, is fighting for independence and is calling for a referendum on self-determination, planned by the United Nations.

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As Trump approached leaving the White House, his teams hastened the terms of the agreement, making Morocco the fourth country to normalize relations with Israel, after the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan, while legitimizing its presence. In the Western Sahara.

– ‘Valido case’ –

Trump’s advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner said: “In recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, President Trump rejected the failed status quo that no one had benefited from, and instead put a durable and mutually acceptable solution on the right track.” On board the first commercial flight between Tel Aviv and Rabat.

The agreement provides for the opening of an American “consulate” in Dakhla and includes an investment of $ 3 billion, launched by the American Development Bank, for “financial and technical support for private investment projects” in Morocco and Africa. South of the desert.

In addition to the financial aspect, the Moroccan power considers the United States’ ratification of its “Sahara” as a “historic diplomatic advance.”

The Polisario Front violated the ceasefire signed in 1991 under the auspices of the United Nations in mid-November after Morocco deployed its forces in a demilitarized zone on the border with Mauritania, with the aim of ensuring “security” in the country. The only highway to West Africa, which is often used by independence fighters.

US President-elect Joe Biden has yet to comment on the Western Sahara issue.

“Every administration has the right to decide its foreign policy,” Schenker said this week in Algiers, where he stopped on his regional tour.

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“On the question of whether the United States will be present on the ground in the Western Sahara, I want to be clear: The United States will not establish a military base in Western Sahara,” and the General Staff of the United States Military Command for Africa (AFRICOM) said he will not move there.

sof / awa / es / me

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