On Tuesday, the US reiterated its support for a Moroccan plan for autonomy in Western Sahara to settle the Kingdom’s decades-old conflict in the region with the Polisario Front.
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said they continue to view Morocco’s autonomy plan as “serious, credible and realistic,” in a visit to Morocco.
Sherman voiced support for the UN’s Western Sahara envoy, Staffan de Mistura, who is working to revive a peace process that has been stalled since 2019.
After meeting with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, Sherman told journalists, “We do so with an open mind to find a resolution that will lead to an enduring and dignified outcome for all parties.”
For his part, Bourita commended Washington’s “clear and constant position” on Western Sahara and the autonomy plan.
A former Spanish colony with rich phosphate resources and access to lucrative Atlantic fishing waters, Rabat sees the Western Sahara region as an integral part of its territory.
Meanwhile, the Polisario Front took up arms in the 1970s and have continued to demand an independence referendum on the basis of a 1991 deal that included a ceasefire.
The US, under the Trump administration, recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara as a quid pro quo for the Kingdom mending ties with Israel, a decision which has since not been reversed by the Biden administration.