On Monday, October 7, during the UN 4th Commission, Saudi Arabia reaffirmed its “position of principle.” The Gulf kingdom made clear its support for the Moroccan Autonomy plan submitted to the UN in 2007 as a proposal to end the conflict over Western Sahara.
Saudi Arabia’s permanent ambassador to the UN Abdullah Al Moualimmi said that the Autonomy Plan is a “constructive alternative aimed at achieving a just and a realistic” political solution in accordance with international law, the UN Charter, and the Security Council resolutions.
The Saudi ambassador argued that the autonomy initiative is the outcome of multiple consultations at all levels, providing legitimate rights to Sahrawis “without any discrimination.”
He recalled that the plan seeks to provide Sahrawis the right to participate in the economic, social, and cultural development of the country.
Citing development programs in the region, Al Moualimi outlined Morocco’s efforts to achieve socio-economic development in Western Sahara. He cited the $8billion to improve living conditions and to allow the population in the region to benefit from the resources of the region.
The Saudi diplomat also emphasized his country’s support for the UN-led political solution and the Security Council resolutions.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, both Kuwait and the UAE reiterated their support for Morocco’s territorial integrity.
The UAE representative at the UN extolled Morocco’s continued efforts to “improve the standard of living of the Sahara populations.”
The UAE representative added during the 4th Commission of the UN that the Moroccan Autonomy Plan “constitutes a compromise solution,” in line with both the UN Charter and its resolutions.
Kuwait joined Saudi Arabia and the UAE to back Morocco’s position in the conflict, expressing unwavering support for the autonomy plan and its territorial integrity.
The Kuwaiti representative to the UN said underlined the “unified position” of Gulf countries on the Western Sahara conflict.
The Kuwaiti diplomat also expressed support for the UN-led political process, welcoming the participation of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the Polisario in the Geneva roundtables in 2018 and 2019.
The representative of Kuwait welcomed the readiness of the parties to participate in the third round table, as provided for in Security Council resolution 2468.
The roundtables are a series of meetings initiated by the former personal envoy of the UN Secretary-General, Horst Kohler in December 2018 and March 2019 before his sudden resignation in May 2019
Following the second roundtable, Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, and Polisario accepted Kohler’s initiative to convene the parties in a third roundtable.
It remains to be seen whether the parties will meet in a third roundtable despite Kohler’s retirement.
To date, the UN has not yet announced a replacement for Kohler.