Why does Biden’s Western Sahara policy remain under review? Morocco News:

Former United States President Donald Trump shocked many observers when his administration broke the years-long international consensus in December last year to recognize Morocco’s claim to the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

The step that came in context Normalization deal between Israel and Morocco“Washington became the first Western power to openly recognize Rabat ‘s claim to a vast region, relying on the United Nations’ designation of the Western Sahara as a ‘Non-Self-Governing Territory.’

Now, after Biden’s years in the White House, the Democratic president still has to take a stand. Recognition:which, according to analysts, further undermines the administration’s promise to respect international norms in its foreign policy.

“I think Biden is pushing hard for the pro-Israel element to overturn the decision,” said Stephen Unes, a professor at the University of San Francisco who specializes in Middle East politics, told Al Jazeera.

“At the same time, he is being pressured by bipartisan members of Congress who are concerned about a rather dangerous precedent he has set.”

Recognition of Trump

Morocco, claiming the Western Sahara as part of its territory, the Polisario Front, an armed group demanding regional independence, and most of its Sahrawi ethnic group have been fighting over disputed land since Spain’s colonial rule in 1975.

The UN, which mediated the ceasefire in 1991, does not recognize the sovereignty of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, declared by either Morroccan or the Polasario Front.

But Trump violated that position on December 10, recognizing “Moroccan sovereignty over the entire Western Sahara.” His administration also reaffirmed its support for Morocco’s offer of limited autonomy to Sarawis under predominantly Moroccan control.

The Biden administration has repeatedly said it continues to review policy.

In April, Axios reported that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had told his Moroccan counterpart that the United States would not immediately change its recognition of Trump, and State Department spokesman Ned Price said last week that the United States was “holding private consultations with the parties.” is the best way to contain the violence and achieve a lasting settlement. “

Some reports suggest that the delay in the Biden administration is part of a strategy to work with Morocco to appoint a new UN envoy to the region to resume stalled peace talks.

But the ounce ounce said failing to circumvent the Trump administration’s move could damage US credibility. “What credibility does the United States have, for example, in opposing the Russian occupation of opposing Rome if they go and recognize it?” [a] Such illegal land clearing? ” he said. “It really undermines the credibility of the United States in terms of international law.”

At the same time, Washington has denied the Moroccan prime minister’s recent claim that part of the so-called “African Lion” joint military exercise, which is held annually by the US-led African Union in Morocco with its African allies, will take place in the Western Sahara. But it has done little to clarify the administration’s position.

Unes added that elements of the Biden administration are concerned about the delay in changing Trump’s policy, particularly when it comes to relations with the African Union, which recognizes the Sahrawi Arab Republic as a member state whose charter prohibits countries from unilaterally changing their colonial borders.

“Some in the US diplomatic community” really hope that Biden will change that, because they do not see a wider impact on US influence, especially in Africa, “he said.

The Polisario fighter sits on a rock at an offensive base on the outskirts of Tifarit in western Sahara in 2016. [File: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters]

“Rubber stamp”

In the short term, there may be repercussions for US recognition, says Joseph Ozef Huddleston, an associate professor at Seton Hall University School of Diplomacy and International Relations.

Although this did not change the international legal status of the territory, “what he actually did was a rubber stamp on Morocco’s presence [in Western Sahara] from one country [the US]”Huddleston told Al Jazeera.

In November last year, the Polisario Front, which is closely linked to neighboring Algeria, announced a UN-backed ceasefire. The group has since claimed that there have been regular attacks on Moroccan assets in the area, although the nature of the attacks has been widely disputed.

Meanwhile, among some Arab states that have previously quietly endorsed Rabat’s claim, Morocco has been strongly supported, with no European power following Trump’s example. Days after the announcement, the European Union reiterated its support for the “ongoing” UN process to “determine [the] Final Status “Western Sahara.

At the same time, Germany accused the United States, which’s guardian of the Western Sahara of the commission, of holding a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council, for “equal, fair,” and acting “within the framework of international law.”

Amid continuing diplomatic frustration, Raban recalled his ambassador to Berlin, accusing Germany of “negative attitude” towards the Western Sahara.

Tensions have also risen recently between Spain and Morocco after Madrid allowed Polisario Front leader Brahim Li Ali, whom Rabat considers a “terrorist”, to seek medical treatment and leave the country. Rabat said the incident “revealed Spain’s hostile attitude” and harmful strategy on the Moroccan Sahara issue. [and] revealed the cooperation of our northern neighbor with the adversaries of the Kingdom in order to undermine the territorial integrity of Morocco. “

Spain responded that its position on the Western Sahara was in line with that of the United Nations, saying that Rabat’s request to detain Rab Ali contradicted the country’s “border-territorial integrity”.

Calls for revival of the peace process

Recent developments come as observers point out that the UN-led peace process has stalled. Both in Morocco and on the Polisario Front, the decision has the right to veto the decision, the UN has not been able to appoint a new envoy to the conflict, as the previous one resigned in 2019.

In the face of exhausting efforts, the ongoing review of the Biden administration could be part of a larger effort to renew the process, says Jacob Mundy, an associate professor of peace, conflict studies, Middle East and Islamic studies at Colgate University.

“The problem with Morocco and the West, in general, the peace process, is that there is no ready-made lever that is ready to be used by powerful states like the United States,” he told Al-Azeri. “It simply came to our notice then.

“I doubt they might think, ‘How can we make some lemonade from these lemons?’

Mundin և Hugh Lovat, in a recent analysis by the European Council on Foreign Relations, argued that the UN should urgently review and rejuvenate its peace process, arguing that Trump’s intervention in international law, if left unchecked, could lead to further escalation.

“The retreat of the prospects for a negotiated settlement will convince the Western Sahara National Liberation Movement that diplomacy and international law have failed,” they wrote. “The intensification of the armed confrontation with Morocco is the only way.”

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button