Morocco-GCC Sum­mit: Strong im­pe­tus to strate­gic & mul­ti­di­men­sional part­ner­ship

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

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.

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