Belgian Support to Morocco Distresses the Polisario

To match interview SAHARA-POLISARIO/The Polisario leader, Mohammed Abdelaziz, is devastated. The support that Belgium has officially expressed to the Morocco-proposed autonomy plan this week proved to be a bitter pill to swallow, all the more so as Algerian lobbyists had made many moves in Brussels in anticipation of this support that the separatists were dreading.
According to informed sources in Brussels, Algerian diplomats in Brussels had no respite since the announcement of the meeting of the Belgian- Moroccan High Joint Commission. The Algerian diplomats were operating behind the scenes while the Polisario representatives, led by Mohamed Sidati, referred to as “junior Minister for Europe,” were taking the lead in their attempts to gain the Belgians’ support to their theses.
A couple of weeks before the Moroccan- Belgian meeting of Tuesday February 18, the Algerian diplomats and Polisario delegates multiplied contacts with their relays in Belgium. Pierre Galand, one of the Polisario’s most steadfast supporters in Belgium, who pays frequent visits to Algiers, was among those requested to lend support to their efforts, said the same sources.
However, these attempts did not prove very helpful. Belgian officials, despite their country’s economic interests with Algeria, are wise enough to make only well-considered decisions.
Also, they know the true stature of the Polisario, whose very existence depends on the goodwill of Algerian leaders and on their financial and military support.
In the joint statement issued at the end of the Belgian- Moroccan High Joint Commission, Belgium has clearly expressed its standpoint. While affirming its support for the UN settlement process, Brussels stated it “appreciates the credible and serious efforts made by Morocco to reach a sustainable solution to the Western Sahara conflict, as evidenced by its proposed autonomy plan.”


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