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Honorable Representative or Senator XX
United States House of Representatives or Senate
Washington, D.C. 20515 (for House)
ATTN: Rep. Or Sen. Scheduler's Name, fax number
Dear Rep./Sen. XX:
My name is Name. I live in City, State of Residence. I am writing to you as my representative in the House to bring to your attention my concerns about the impasse on the Western Sahara and to seek your support of the Kingdom of Morocco’s Autonomy Initiative as the best course of action for a lasting and equitable solution in the territory.
It is well known that Morocco has been one of America’s longest standing allies in North Africa and among Arab nations. Morocco also stands as a symbol of moderation in the Muslim world. King Mohammed VI continues to pursue genuine Democratic reforms including free elections, a Parliament that represents ideologies from all sides of the political spectrum, and inclusion of women in all sectors of the society including government and religious affairs.
However, the on-going conflict in the Western Sahara undermines Morocco’s territorial integrity, impedes regional economic growth and prevents full regional security cooperation. It must be resolved.
An equitable solution to this conflict is of vital and strategic interest to the United States and to its allies in Europe as well as Morocco. Conflict in the Western Sahara has many negative implications including an increase in the risk of terrorist related activities in the region. As the world has unfortunately witnessed, the Algerian terrorist group GSPC has become al-Qaeda North Africa and unleashed a deadly series of bombs in Algeria.
Of equal importance are the human rights abuses by the Polisario against the people living there. Thousands of families have had their loved ones either interred as POWs or shipped off to Libya or Cuba in forced exile. It also well documented that the Polisario leaders are holding Moroccan families against their will in Tindouf, Algeria forcefully preventing them from returning to their families and homes in the Western Sahara. These abuses have been well documented in recent testimonies before the Congress.
Morocco has demonstrated good stewardship in its efforts to work with the United States and other Western allies to solve this problem. In response to the UN Security Council’s repeated calls to all parties in the conflict in the Western Sahara to find a mutually acceptable political solution, the Kingdom of Morocco presented an Autonomy Initiative that promotes regional stability through a negotiated settlement between the parties.
Representatives Gary Ackerman and Lincoln Diaz-Balart are circulating a bipartisan letter in support of this historic initiative. I have attached a copy of Dear Colleague letter that is being circulated as well as the letter to President Bush. I hope that I can count on you to sign this important letter to President Bush and support Morocco’s efforts to bring peace and stability to the region. I look forward to hearing from you on this critical issue.