Western Sahara: New York City Bar Association calls Biden to support negotiation process

APS - 16 April 2021

NEW YORK-Participants in a conference on the role of U.S. President Joe Biden in the Western Sahara conflict stressed that any solution should guarantee the Sahrawi people's right to self-determination, and called for the return of the United States to its previous position of support for the negotiation process to resolve the Sahrawi issue.

Speaking at this videoconference on Western Sahara themed "Should President Biden Endorse the Decision to Recognize Morocco's Sovereignty over Western Sahara?" Former U.S. Security Advisor John Bolton stressed that "any solution (to the Western Sahara conflict) should guarantee the Sahrawi people's right to self-determination."

He urged President-elect Joe Biden to "quickly correct" the unilateral decision of his predecessor, Donald Trump, to recognize Morocco's alleged sovereignty over Western Sahara, which he called "a serious mistake."

Speaking at this event organized by the New York City Bar Association, an association of lawyers and law students, former UN Envoy to Western Sahara Christopher Ross said that the decision affected the negotiation process between Morocco and the Polisario Front, especially the direct negotiations launched in 2007 to determine the future status of Western Sahara.

In addition, he said that the normalization of relations between Morocco and the Zionist entity "has no place" because "relations between the two parties are long-standing and close."

That is why Ross considers this decision as "dangerous" because "there has been little or no reflection" on its consequences.

"This decision violates the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination," he stressed.

The conference, chaired by former UN Committee President Katlyn Thomas, was attended by academics specializing in international legal issues.