Sahara: Moscow’s Position Poured Cold Water on the Polisario

kremlin-rencontreThe Polisario’s current worries are not caused only by the holding of the Crans Montana Forum in the city of Dakhla in the Sahara. Mohammed Abdelaziz’s front and its friends have also been shaken by Russia’s decisive support to Morocco, expressed on the occasion of the visit of King Mohammed VI in Moscow, said a well-informed source from the Tindouf camps.

In a statement issued after the Putin – Mohammed VI meeting in the Kremlin on Tuesday, Russia said it “takes due account of the position of Morocco” in the settlement of the Sahara issue. More than that, Rabat and Moscow were categorical in their response to Ban Ki-Moon’s use, for the first time in the annals of the United Nations, of the word “occupation” to describe the situation in the Sahara. “Russia and Morocco do not support any attempt to accelerate or precipitate the political process” led by the United Nations,” said the two countries in a joint statement.

This valuable Russian support is to be added to that of France, another permanent member of the Security Council, which considers that the autonomy plan proposed by Morocco is a “serious and credible basis” for a negotiated solution to the Sahara issue.

A clarification made by the French Foreign Ministry just after Ban Ki-Moon’s blunder has reiterated that the Sahara issue “is the subject of a UN mediation, which France supports within the parameters set by the Security Council.”

The position of France in the regional Sahara conflict, which has been poisoning relations between Morocco and Algeria for four decades, had long been known. By cons, Moscow’s clear-cut support poured cold water on the Polisario.

So much so that the leaders of the Algeria-backed separatist Front fear that the current tension between Morocco and Ban Ki-Moon, that they thought was to their advantage, will, on the contrary, expand the circle of Morocco’s allies, said the source.

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