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Forty Countries Attended Ministerial Conference on Autonomy Initiative for Moroccan Sahara Region

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PERSISMA, Rabat – A total of 40 countries have attended the ministerial conference in order to provide support for the special autonomy program for the Western Sahara region under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco. The virtual conference was held on Friday, January 15, 2021, chaired by Morocco.

Of the 40 countries present, no less than 27 countries were represented directly by ministerial level officials from their respective countries. This important meeting was held on the initiative of the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States.

The following are the official minutes of the conference of the ministers and the list of countries present at the meeting.

The Ministerial Conference in Support of the Autonomy Initiative under Morocco Sovereignty

January 15, 2021

Chairs’ Summary

1. At the invitation of the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States of America, the Ministerial Conference in support of the Autonomy Initiative under Morocco sovereignty was held virtually on January 15, 2021.

2. 40 countries participated in the Conference, among which 27 were represented at the ministerial level [See list of participating countries in Annexe I].

3. Most participants expressed strong support for Morocco’s autonomy Initiative as the only basis for a Just and lasting solution to this regional dispute.

4. Most participants recalled the Proclamation of the United States of America of December 10, 2020, entitled “Recognizing the Sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco over Western Sahara,” which reaffirmed support for Morocco’s serious, credible, and realistic autonomy proposal as the only basis for a just and lasting solution to the dispute over the Western Sahara territory. The Proclamation also urged the parties to engage in discussions in coordination with the United Nations without delay.

5. Most participants also underlined that the U.S. Presidential Proclamation provides guidance for efforts to advance the UN-exclusive political process aiming at reaching a lasting political solution, with the autonomy initiative as the only realistic basis for such a solution. This Proclamation will strengthen the international consensus in support of the UN-exclusive political process.

6. The Conference highlighted the decision of twenty United Nations Member States to open Consulates General in the Moroccan cities of Laayoune and Dakhla, considering that such steps will promote economic and business opportunities for the region, strengthen the vocation of the Sahara region as an economic hub for the entire continent and advance progress towards reaching a long-awaited final political solution to this protracted dispute.

7. Participants welcomed the development endeavours launched in the region including in the framework of Morocco’s “New Development Model for the Souther Provinces” initiative.

8. Participants committed to continue their advocacy for a solution, using Morocco’s autonomy plan as the sole framework for resolving the Western Sahara dispute.

Annex 1: List of Participating Countries:

1. Zambia
2. Gabon
3. Gulnee
4. Comores
5. Bambia
6. Guinee Bissau
7. Equartolale Guinee
8. Malawi
9. Central Africa Republic
10. Togo
11. Liberia
12. Sao Tome et Principe
13. Benin
14. Bahrein
15. United Arab Emirates
16. Sainte-Lucia
17. Antigua-and-Barbuda
18. Haiti
19. Guatemala
20. Dominica Republic
21. Barbados
22. Jamaica
23. Maldives
24. Salvador
25. Senegal
26. Qatar
27. Saudi Arabia
28. Cote d’Ivoire
29. Djibouti
30. Eswatini
31. Republic of Congo
32. Jordan
33. Oman
34. France
35. Egypte
36. Paouasle New Guinee
37. Tonga
38. Koweit
39. Yemen
40. Burkina Faso

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