229 Lawmakers Urge Obama to Resolve Western Sahara Conflict

Majority of Congress Calls for Resolving W. Sahara Conflict to Remove ‘Single Greatest Obstacle’ to Combating  Terrorist Threats in N. Africa  
Bipartisan Letter to Pres. Obama from 229 US House Members Urges Strong Actions to Reaffirm Support for Morocco’s Compromise Autonomy Proposal  

Washington, DC (April 16, 2009)—Today, a majority of Members of the US House of Representatives—led by Rep. Gary Ackerman, Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, and the highest ranking members of the Democratic and Republican leadership—sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing concern over the rising threat from al-Qaeda and other terrorists in North Africa. The letter called for strong US backing for Morocco’s compromise solution to end the 30-year Western Sahara conflict, which would clear a path for greater regional cooperation to meet growing security and economic challenges.

The “single greatest obstacle” standing in the way of US efforts and those of its partners in the region, says the letter from a bipartisan majority of the Congress, is the “unresolved territorial dispute over the Western Sahara” which has lingered for more than three decades.  In 2007, Morocco presented a compromise proposal to peacefully end the dispute by providing self- determination through autonomy for those in the region.  This initiative, which the UN Security Council called “serious and credible,” spurred UN-mediated direct talks between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front.   However, after four rounds of negotiations, little progress has been made, despite support from many in the international community for Morocco’s proposal.   “We remain convinced that the US position, favoring autonomy for Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty, is the only feasible solution,” the letter continued, referring to the US policy which has remained consistent through the Clinton and Bush Administrations. “We urge you to both
sustain this longstanding policy, and to make clear, in both words and actions, that the United States will work to ensure that the UN process continues to support this framework as the only realistic compromise that can bring this unfortunate and longstanding conflict to an end.”    Among the letter’s signers are: House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), House  Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), House Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) , Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. John Larson, and Republican Conference Chairman Rep. Mike Pence. House Morocco Caucus Chairman, Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), led the effort. Today’s letter reaffirms the broad bipartisan support in the US Congress for Morocco’s compromise proposal that was endorsed in a letter by 173 Members in 2007 (including the Democratic and Republican leadership).
The recommendations in the letter echo those made in a special report, “Why the Maghreb Matters,” issued last month by a panel of experts including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, General Wesley Clark, Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, among others, which stressed the need for increased US regional engagement with the nations of North Africa to protect US security interests and promote regional peace and prosperity.   


  Full letter and signers








Comments (5)  

0 #1 Polisario - The Beginning of the Endboras 2009-04-17 00:34
One has to wonder why the polisario are so against the autonomy plan that Morocco is pushing forward but with little analysis it becomes crystal clear the main reason the polisario are against the autonomy plan is because the bandits leading this corrupt group of riff-raff with posh mansions in Algiers financed by their Algerian pay masters is because they will lose all political support amongst the citizens of the new autonomous region. Therefore they are trying desperately to block any progress so as to maintain their stranglehold on power.

Time is running out for the polisario consequently Morocco needs to be on the alert as their desperation will no doubt manifest itself in acts of provocation and transgression. My advice to the polisario is to look at the lessons of the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. The Tamils took their cause to such extremes which inevitabley lead to their own destruction as we are all observing right now.
0 #2 boredbored 2009-04-17 05:17
That is not going to be resolved anytime soon - For that to happen and to last, Algeria and Morocco have to do this on their own; til then, it is going to be the same old empty statments, useless visits, and boring speeches...
0 #3 COMMENT_TITLE_R E 229 Lawmakers Urge Obama to Resolve Western Sahara Conflictmuhammad 2009-04-17 15:45
If we continue to spend millions of dollars in lobbying congress this is a lost cause, because lobbysts ,anguage is money and tomorrow algerian petro-dollars could buy not only our lobbysts but the whole system. If we do not solve our problem with the saharaouis themselves do not expect congress to fix it for you, cos this same guys will soon sign snother letter for polisario...... it is just lobbyists being paid son they would like the problem to last for ever.

P.D You can censor me again but if you do so, think you are not defending morocco but other obscure interests.
Marilyn Willson
0 #4 SAVEJAMESWILLSO N.COMMarilyn Willson 2009-04-21 10:50
If everyone understands this then why not SAVE JAMES DOUGLAS WILLSON. He has been arbitarily arrested and tortured mentally, physicall, emotional, medically in Morocco.
Morocco needs to have His Royal Majesty King Mohammed VI needs to grant an immediate Pardon for James Willson. Give James his FREEDOM. Save James's life. A diabetic who hasn't received diabetic medication since May 7,2008
0 #5 شكرا لكم mohamadino 2009-04-21 11:33
شكرا لجهود الجميع في الوقوف مع قضية المغرب العادلة ، سنظل نحبكم ونقدر اعمالكم وشكرا جزيلا

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