2023, the French turn on the Sahara?

This is the big event expected in the France-Morocco relationship. That of seeing Paris come out of the gray zone and of hesitation on the full and complete recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over its Sahara.

Logically, this turning point should accompany the first State visit that Emmanuel Macron should make to Morocco during the first quarter of 2023. The failure to set a precise date for this presidential trip testifies if not to the persistence of differences, at least to the continuation of negotiations between the two countries to make this visit by Emmanuel Macron the most successful and to move the lines.

During the recent preparatory visit to this trip, Catherine Colonna, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, tried to set the political framework for this relationship, judging it favorable to Morocco.

But Moroccans judged it less favorable than that of the United States of America, which openly recognizes the Moroccanness of the Sahara, or that of Spain or Germany, which see the option of autonomy as the only political solution. to this crisis, which de facto becomes a recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over its Sahara. Paris has voluntarily remained out of step with these international accelerations on the Sahara issue.

Indeed, faced with these developments, Paris confines itself to its perception of the option of autonomy as a serious and credible basis for work, but not the only one. This navigation in the chiaroscuro allows French diplomacy to continue to hold the handle in the middle and to send so-called messages of “distance and objectivity” to the other party in this conflict, the Algerian regime.

In its showdown with Paris, Algiers had placed a red line in the balance of its relationship with France, which consists of not acting like the American administration and voluntarily maintaining this artificial vagueness which contributes to cultivating this impression that separatist dreams of the Polisario are not definitively buried, and therefore to continue to justify the costly policy of Algerian aggressiveness with regard to Morocco.

In application of the royal vision which consists in considering as an ally or a friend the country recognizing the sovereignty of Morocco over its Sahara, Paris is in the sights of this solicitude and this pressure. Especially since in terms of economic implications between the two countries, France has occupied the upper hand, not to mention the human and cultural relations which reflect a great Franco-Moroccan intimacy.

Morocco is right to use all its weight to convince France to join the club of countries that fully recognize its sovereignty over its Sahara. If he succeeds during Emmanuel Macron’s next visit, he would have accomplished a gigantic performance for the European space.

Since Brexit, which saw Great Britain cast off the moorings of the European Union, since the war between Ukraine and Russia, which revealed the weaknesses, dependencies and limits of the German model, France has emerged as the driving country, the locomotive power of the EU. Moreover, at this stage it would be capable of creating a common European position on the Sahara, just as it could prevent its development.

Officially, Morocco does not exert any form of pressure on Paris so that the tenant of the Élysée can clarify its position on the Sahara.

Recently, the Moroccan Foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita, had left French diplomacy the freedom to renovate and adapt. And for that, he had indicated to his counterpart, Catherine Colonna, two elements of reflection and persuasion.

The first is that the internal springs of Moroccan society have changed profoundly. The Morocco of today has nothing to do with the Morocco of the 90s. The second element of reflection is the regional and international dynamics around this discord on the Sahara. All the winds are favorable to Morocco which benefits from a very happy alignment of the planets. Its political solution is the one seriously discussed in all international forums.

Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Morocco is eagerly awaited because it can deal a form of regional deathblow to an artificially maintained conflict that serves more agendas of destabilization, tension and chaos, rather than strategies for peace and development. economic growth beneficial to the countries of the region.

Previous Post Next Post