Morocco-GCC Summit: Strong impetus to strategic & multidimensional partnership
OOBSERVER REPORT N the occasion of the Morocco-GCC Summit, the first of its kind, held recently in Riyadh, His Majesty King Mohammed VI has addressed an historic speech with clear messages about the current situation and developments as well as the challenges facing Arab countries, particularly the Arab Gulf states and the Kingdom of Morocco.
In his address the King very candidly made it clear that the Arab region was being rocked by attempts to change regimes and divide states and as a result “many of the sons and daughters of the Arab homeland have either been uprooted, displaced or killed.”
“Morocco respects the sovereignty of States, their choices and their freedoms to establish and promote relations with partners of their own choosing,” he said. King Mohammed VI drew the attention of the honorable members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to the fact the Arab region is being rocked by attempts to change regimes and divide states.
“What has been described as the Arab Spring has caused destruction, chaos and human tragedies. And now we are witnessing a calamitous autumn, with attempts to lay hands on what remains of Arab countries’ resources and spoil successful experiences, like that of Morocco, by undermining its outstanding national model.”
“In fact, these are attempts to foment strife and create chaos and could have serious consequences for the region, even the world at large,” cautioned the King.
About Morocco and its principled position on relations with its allies, King Mohammed VI said Morocco has, in recent months, sought to diversify its partnerships at political, strategic and economic levels. “The Moroccan-Gulf partnership is not the result of transient interests or calculations. Rather, it derives its strength from a firm belief that ours is a common destiny and that we hold the same views on issues of common concern”
In his historic address, His Majesty King Mohammed VI not only pointed out the problem, he also gave a solution. In his words it lies in unity and shared interests of the countries facing this situation, “To defend our security is not only a shared obligation, but it is also a collective, indivisible one. Morocco has always perceived the security and stability of Gulf countries as an intrinsic part of its own security and stability. What hurts you hurts us, and what affects us affects you,” summarised the King.
On the issue of Moroccan Sahara, the King said Morocco’s opponents are using every means, directly or otherwise, as part of their thinly-veiled maneuvers to try to delegitimize Morocco’s presence in its Sahara, or undermine the autonomy initiative, which the international community has described as serious and credible.
“As the plotting continues, the month of April, which coincides with the Security Council meetings on the Sahara issue, has become a bogeyman used against Morocco and a tool to exert pressure on my country at times, and blackmail it at others,” said the King.
Later, the members of the GCC in a joint communiqué endorsed the Royal speech and Morocco’s principled position on its Sahara.
In the 12-point communiqué, besides stressing larger cooperation working relationship between the GCC and the Kingdom of Morocco, “Gulf Cooperation Council reiterated their principled position that the cause of the Moroccan Sahara is also the cause of the GCC countries.
They affirmed their position supporting the fact that the Sahara is Moroccan and their support for the initiative of autonomy presented by Morocco, as the basis for any solution to this artificial regional dispute. They also expressed their rejection of any infringing on the higher interests of Morocco with regard to the serious indicators witnessed by the file in recent weeks.”
Everybody has in mind the strong reaction of protest by the people and government of Morocco when the UN Secretary General during his latest visit to the region used the word “occupation” to describe Morocco’s presence in its Sahara, terminology never used by the UN in the Moroccan Sahara issue.
Millions of Moroccans (over 3 million), young, old, women and children—they had come on streets of Rabat, from all regions of the country—marched on roads and condemned comments delivered by the UN Chief on the Sahara issue and chanted patriotic slogans.
They reaffirmed their commitment that Sahara was always an integral part of Morocco and describing it as a region ‘occupied’ by Morocco was not acceptable.
They were protesting not only for his verbal blunders and diplomatic faux pas on the issue of Moroccan Sahara but also for his office’s controversial move to allude to a referendum in the region despite the fact the concept of Referendum has become outdated and obsolete and even the UNSC gave up the idea back in 2004.
Border police take part in an anti-terrorism drill near Baketu border in Tacheng, Xinjiang, China.
King Mohammed VI with the Heads of State of the GCC on the occasion of the opening of the Morocco - GCC Summit in Riyadh.