Why Israel must recognize the Moroccanness of the Sahara

Why Israel must recognize the Moroccanness of the Sahara

In December 2020, the United States recognized the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco over the Sahara. A setback that reversed decades of US policy, which had backed the UN plan for a referendum on the territory’s future status. The United Arab Emirates, another key partner in the Abraham Accords, has led efforts to recognize Morocco’s territorial integrity internationally, and dozens of countries have followed suit.

That said, the European Union (EU), Morocco’s major partner, said it would continue to work with the Kingdom on issues of common interest, such as migration and security. Yet an explicit and clear recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over its Sahara has not been expressed.

Regarding Israel, the country has agreed to recognize Moroccan sovereignty, within the framework of the Abraham Accords, by opening a consulate in the region, but has not yet acted on its commitment.

A recent report by the Jerusalem Institute for Public Affairs (JCPA) highlights the need for Israel to fully recognize Morocco’s territorial integrity and actively work towards it. He points out that this recognition is crucial for a variety of reasons, including Iranian threats in the region, the presence of terrorist groups in sub-Saharan Africa and the repercussions on countries around the world.

Iranian expansion

Written by Dr. Yechiel Leiter, the report underlines that Morocco’s struggle against the Polisario front is also a struggle against the expansion of Iranian influence in West Africa.

The Iranian regime is a direct ally of the Polisario front and of Algeria, which are both opposed to Morocco, says the author, who details that the Iranian Hezbollah supplies weapons and drones to Algeria, in addition to training separatist front fighters.

This group presents itself as a cover for Al-Qaeda and Islamic Morocco and is actively involved in terrorist activities in the Sahel region, the report said, noting that Iran’s continued support would make the Polisario an Algerian state supporting the Iranian regime if it achieved its goal.

The article describes Iran’s Hezbollah as a ” terrorist entity involved in drug trafficking”which is a real problem for West Africa, as it has been the source of many crises, including the economic collapse of Lebanon and the conflicts in Syria, due to its use of these regions as bases for drug trafficking.

In this context, the report explains that West Africa is not only a target for the export of ” revolution but also a destination for the illegal drug trade from Iran, after the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) banned shipments from Lebanon as part of its efforts to curb drug trafficking. drugs and weapons.

Food Safety

Moreover, the fact that Morocco is surrounded by “hostile and disruptive Iranian representatives of stability” could have a huge impact on global food security, especially because Morocco holds 72% of the world’s phosphate reserves, 7% of which are in the Moroccan Sahara. Phosphate is an essential raw material in the fertilizer industry, and “The absence of fertilizer would mean that half the world’s population would starve”.

For Israel, the author of the report considers it essential to consolidate and strengthen the Abraham Accords concluded with Morocco. These agreements refer to a set of peace treaties signed since September 11, 2020 between Israel and several Arab countries, including Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates, under the aegis of the United States. They encompass various fields such as security, economy, culture, academics, tourism and social relations.

By evoking the legitimacy of Moroccan sovereignty over the Saharan territories, the report also underlines that this claim goes back many years, up to the 11th century.

World powers, including the United States which recognized this sovereignty in 2020, as well as the United Arab Emirates, which is a key partner in the Abraham Accords, have also recognized the integrity of Moroccan territory. Many other countries have also followed their lead, Israel first, the report concludes.


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