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Support for Moroccan Autonomy Plan Stems from Spain's ‘Genuine Desire’ to Contribute to Settlement of Dispute over Sahara (PM)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez: Support for Moroccan Autonomy Plan Stems from Spain's ‘Genuine Desire’ to Contribute to Settlement of Dispute over Sahara.

The position of the Spanish government in support of the Moroccan autonomy plan, as being "the most serious, realistic and credible basis" for resolving the dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, stems from Spain's "genuine desire" to contribute "actively" to the settlement of this conflict which has lasted too long, said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Wednesday.

"Spain has taken this decision with the full will to take a step forward" towards the settlement of this dispute, Mr. Sanchez told the Spanish Congress of Deputies.

"The decision we have taken on the Sahara is a further step on the path that began 14 years ago when the Spanish government welcomed the autonomy plan presented by Morocco as a valuable contribution to the solution of a deadlocked conflict,” he pointed out.

"We are determined to help settle a conflict that has lasted half a century," he said.

In this regard, he added that his country "has reaffirmed and deepened its position because there is now a new opportunity to resume negotiations after the appointment of the personal envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Staffan de Mistura".

"After many years of conflict and status quo in the negotiation process, the Spanish government considers that the autonomy proposed by Morocco is the basis on which there are more possibilities to build" a solution to the Sahara issue, stressed Sanchez, noting that his country "logically recognizes the efforts made by Morocco in this direction".

"Spain's position on the Sahara issue is in line with that of its European partners and many other countries", he recalled, noting that the European Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs supported Madrid's decision.

The President of the Spanish government recalled the support voiced by France to Morocco's proposal for years, in addition to the recent support expressed by Germany to the Moroccan initiative, adding that the United States continues to express its support for the approach adopted by the Kingdom.

Moreover, all the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council since 2007 have welcomed the autonomy plan and the "serious and credible efforts" made by Morocco, he underlined.

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