Press Release 01.03.05

Western Sahara Campaign UK meet Moroccan MPS to discuss Western Sahara`

Representatives from the Western Sahara Campaign UK (WSC) met today at the Houses of Parliament with a delegation of 8 Moroccan MPs who are visiting the UK by invitation from the British Group Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the British Parliament [2].

Tom Marchbanks of the Western Sahara Campaign said "that we [the Western Sahara Campaign] called for the meeting with the Moroccan MPs to highlight the depth of ill-feeling in the UK toward Morocco's continued occupation of Western Sahara and its repeated diplomatic stalling to prevent the implementation of the Baker Plan. [3]"

In the meeting, representatives from the Western Sahara Campaign explained:

1. the strength of negative feeling in the UK toward Morocco's occupation of Western Sahara when the occupation has been deemed illegal under the international court of justice [4] and flies in the face of countless United Nations Security Council resolutions in support of the Saharawi's inalienable right to self determination [5].

2. the extensive concern in the UK that the situation has not been resolved despite the very viable avenue for settlement presented by the Baker Plan

3. that there was a sizable UK solidarity movement supporting the Saharawi and the UN referendum for self determination

4. to the MPs the organisation's misgivings about Moroccan suppression of human rights in the occupied territories (particularly free speech)

5. that the organisation felt Morocco are solely and unequivocally responsible for the continued presence of 160,000 Saharawi refugees exiled in the Sahara Desert [6]

6. that until the Saharawi issue is resolved through the Baker Plan, it will continue to negatively impact on Morocco's broader relations with the UK and the rest of the world.

The Western Sahara Campaign is a voluntary NGO working to raise awareness of the Saharawi people and the occupation of their country, Western Sahara. It works in solidarity with the Saharawi people to advance their right to self-determination according to the UN's framework and to promote human rights.

The main purpose of the Moroccan delegation as stated by the IPU is to learn about the British parliamentary system, to discuss issues relating to Morocco and to strengthen bi-lateral relations.

The Baker Plan is the UN accepted framework for a solution through a Saharawi referendum on self determination.

International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion of 16 October 1975

In accordance with UN resolution 1514

Latest Security Council report to the Secretary General 27.01.05 on the situation.


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