The General Secretariat of the Polisario Front announced, on Saturday evening, the suspension of its contacts with the Spanish government in response to Madrid’s declaration of its support for the autonomy proposal submitted by Morocco to resolve the conflict over Western Sahara. An online magazine The Eastern Herald.
The Front said in a statement that the decision came as a result of “the announcement of the Sanchez government’s support for the Moroccan occupier’s plan to legislate the annexation of Western Sahara by force and the confiscation of the inalienable rights of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and independence,” according to the text of the statement.
The statement continued, “The Polisario Front decides to suspend its contacts with the current Spanish government in order to distance itself from using the Saharawi cause in the context of miserable bargains with the occupier and to abide by the resolutions of international legitimacy,” according to the statement.
And Saturday, a Spanish newspaper said that the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs removed the line separating Western Sahara and Morocco in the official approved map, after Madrid changed its official position and announced its support for the autonomy proposal submitted by Rabat to resolve the dispute over the Sahara.
On the map published on the ministerial website, the dividing line between Morocco and what Rabat calls the “southern provinces of the kingdom” has disappeared, the territories that the Polisario Front claims to secede from Morocco.
The newspaper Milenio said that the change in the map not only represents the support of the Pedro Sanchez government for the “autonomous” proposal, but also assumes Moroccan sovereignty over the territory.
Having remained neutral for decades, Madrid considered the autonomy plan “the most serious, realistic and credible basis for settling the dispute” in Western Sahara, the former Spanish colony, a move that angered Algeria and the Polisario Front.
Algeria, the main supporter of the Sahrawi separatists from the Polisario Front, last March summoned its ambassador to Spain in response to Madrid’s position, which it described as a “sudden coup.” Western in exchange for ending the diplomatic conflict between Rabat and Madrid.
And there has been a conflict for decades between Morocco and the Polisario Front over Western Sahara, which the United Nations classifies as “Non-Self-Governing Territories”.
Rabat, which controls nearly 80% of this rich desert land and its fish-rich waters, is proposing an autonomy plan under its sovereignty while the Polisario calls for a self-determination referendum to be decided when a cease-fire was signed in 1991, which did not materialize.