Statement of Central and Eastern European Alliance for Solidarity with the Saharawi People

The Central and Eastern European Alliance for Solidarity with the Saharawi People (CEE Alliance) was looking forward with great interest to the 5th African Union – European Union (AU-EU) Summit held in Abidjan/Cote d`Ivoire on 29-30 November 2017.

CEE Alliance regrets to declare that the leaders of the AU-EU Summit have missed the opportunity to explore the prospects for bringing the long dragging dispute over the status of the Western Sahara`s territory to an end. It is a pity that the Summit – due to France`s attitude – could not agree on a common strategy to support the Saharawi struggle for freedom.

Western Sahara as an AU founder and a full member has already expressed several times its position of principle over the conflict, urging the United Nations (UN) to „take an urgent action to set free all Saharawi prisoners, including those of Gdeim Izik and lift the blockade imposed on the occupied territories of Western Sahara.” As it is well-known, the parties to this conflict are the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front, which is the only legitimate representative of Western Sahara people.

CEE Alliance is convinced that any viable settlement of the Western Sahara conflict must be based on the respect of the right to self-determination and decolonization.

The CEE Alliance is urging France to abide by the Charter and the resolutions of the UN and the AU. We reiterate that the UN has clearly determined how to settle the Western Sahara conflict and we fully support the warning of the President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and the Secretary-General of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, made in Auserd (Refugee Camps) on 9th December 2017 that „any unilateral approach” that does not take into consideration the realities of the Western Sahara conflict will not serve peace and cooperation in North Africa and the Southern Mediterranean region.

The CEE Alliance has always admired and supported the struggle for independence of the Saharawi people from colonisation and we remain strongly committed to the process of peaceful negotiations under the auspices of the UN, for holding of a referendum on self-determination of Western Sahara in the search of a viable solution.

Budapest, 15th December 2017.

Matyas Benyik

on behalf of CEE Alliance

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