King Mohammed VI received on Wednesday the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres at the royal palace in Rabat, according to a statement from the royal court, Morocco World News reports.
The UN Secretary-General expressed his gratitude to King Mohammed VI for the success of the 9th Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), held in Fez.
The forum aims to bring together experts and policymakers to discuss innovative ideas to solve a wide range of world issues.
Guterres welcomed Morocco’s adoption of a “strong and engaging” Declaration at the end of the UNAOC, adding that the adoption of the declaration is now “more than ever necessary in a troubled international context.”
The UN Secretary further praised the Sovereign’s ongoing commitment to promoting the values of openness, tolerance, dialogue, and respect for differences.
Highlighting Morocco’s efforts to promote peace, Guterres called Morocco’s contributions to the global peace process “constant and constructive.”
Morocco is contributing to “the maintenance and consolidation of peace, the strengthening of stability, and the promotion of development, especially in Africa,” the UN official said.
In the meeting, Guterres discussed with the Moroccan monarch the Western Sahara issue in light of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2654, adopted on October 27, 2022.
The resolution emphasized the importance of the involvement of all parties in the Western Sahara dispute to help find a mutually acceptable and an agreed-upon political solution to end the dispute over Western Sahara.
The adoption comes in response to Algeria’s reluctance to engage in the UN-led political process. The Algerian regime continues to claim to be merely an observer to the dispute.
Regarding the Sahara issue, King Mohammed VI reaffirmed Morocco’s unwavering position in support of solving the dispute through the autonomy plan initiative that would safeguard Morocco’s territorial integrity.
King Mohammed VI reiterated Morocco’s support for the efforts of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy, Stafan De Mistura, to oversee political stability in the region. The King equally affirmed Morocco’s support for the UN body in the region MINURSO as an observer to the ceasefire.
The meeting between Morocco’s King and Guterres took place with the presence of Special Adviser to the Secretary-General Miguel Graca, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Resident Abroad Nasser Bourita.
Western Sahara is a territory that has been disputed for more than 40 years by Morocco and the polisario armed front, supported by Algiers. Rabat, which controls nearly 80% of this former Spanish colony, advocates a plan for autonomy under its sovereignty. The Polisario, for its part, is calling for a self-determination referendum, which had been planned when a ceasefire was signed in 1991 but never materialized because the Polisario’s armed front refuse to conduct a population census.
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