Brussels – The European Union (EU) on Sunday underlined the need to preserve the freedom of movement and cross-border trade in the area of El Guerguarat, stressing the paramount importance of ensuring compliance with ceasefire agreements.
The EU’s position was expressed by its High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, during talks with the Moroccan minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita, and the Algerian Foreign minister, Sabri Boukadoum.
A statement from the EU’s External Action Service indicates that “the High Representative Josep Borrell held talks this Sunday, November 15, with the Foreign Ministers of the Kingdom of Morocco Mr. Nasser Bourita and of Algeria Sabri Boukadoum, in order to learn about the latest developments in the region of El Guerguarat, following the latest events that have taken place there”.
During these talks, Borrell “particularly insisted on the preservation of freedom of movement and cross-border trade in the region of El Guerguarat, and its significant impact on the entire Maghreb and Sahel region, a region of strategic importance,” the statement read.
The High Representative “in particular underlined the paramount importance of ensuring compliance with the ceasefire agreements in place since 1991 and reiterated the EU’s full support for MINURSO’s efforts to this end.”
Borrell, the statement added, recalled on this occasion the full support of the EU for the efforts of the United Nations and its Secretary General with a view to achieving a peaceful settlement to the Sahara issue, “in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and in particular the last resolution (2548) adopted on October 30, 2020”.
In this regard, the statement said, “he wished a rapid resumption of discussions under the leadership of the United Nations and a new Personal Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General for the Sahara”.
The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs assured the High Representative of his country’s commitment to respect the ceasefire.
A political solution to the Sahara issue “is essential for regional cooperation between the Maghreb countries, the stability, security and prosperity of the region, and even more in view of the current economic difficulties triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic”, adds the statement.