Morocco is taking the polemic position of ‘non aligned’ in the multipolar world to a new level as its balancing act between Ukraine and the West on one side is countered by its cordial relations with Russia – setting the example to many African countries who look to Rabat as a geopolitical beacon in many ways.
Recently, Rabat forged stronger relations with Ukraine which has agreed to support Morocco’s UN paper which sets out a semi autonomy plan for the disputed region of Western Sahara.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced on May 22nd that his country supports the Moroccan autonomy plan and sees it as a “serious basis for successfully settling the Sahara problem and conflict”, in a step that shows Morocco’s success in expanding the list of countries that recognize its sovereignty over its desert.
Moroccan observers believe that with the progress of time, their country shows a great ability to attract support for its approach to resolving the Sahara crisis without making any concessions on its firm positions that are based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all member states of the United Nations, an approach that enabled it to win the support of all of Ukraine and Russia.
Dmytro Kuleba arrived in Morocco on an official visit, the first by a Ukrainian foreign minister since the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
In a joint press conference with Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans living abroad, in the capital, Rabat, Kouliba stressed that his country is well aware of the place the desert holds in the hearts of Moroccans.
The Ukrainian minister indicated that his choice to come to Morocco was “very intentional” in view of everything that brings the two countries together, expressing his desire to open the door for Moroccan and Ukrainian government institutions to strengthen relations and work together.
Kuleba explained that his country, which seeks to fix past mistakes in marginalizing Ukrainian-Moroccan relations, finds that the autonomy scheme proposed by Morocco is the most serious to settle the fabricated dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, noting that his country’s government supports the efforts of the United Nations envoy to the Moroccan Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, without To express what could disturb the mood of the decision-makers in Rabat.
Bourita reaffirmed that Morocco deals with the Russian-Ukrainian conflict as an issue that affects international peace and security, and that Morocco’s position is entirely neutral although reports of Washington asking Morocco to sell Ukraine Russian tank parts still resonates with many analysts although Rabat has dimsissed them as Algerian disinformation.
“Morocco is concerned by this war because, first, it undermines regional security and stability, and secondly because of its repercussions and economic consequences on many countries, including the Kingdom,” explained the Minister.
“Morocco has good relations with Russia and Ukraine and promotes a peaceful solution to this conflict,” he said, according to state owned MAP agency. Indeed, Bourita’s words follow a controversial statement by the country’s PM only days earlier which underlined Morocco’s determination to stay non aligned and benefit from having good relations with Ukraine, Russia and their allies – when the subject of Russian oil was presented to him by a reporter, which Morocco continues to import.
Astute analsysts may well concur that the comment made by Mr Akhannouch was fed to the press as his foreign minister prepared for the visit of the Ukrainian foreign minister.
Bourita cited the peace initiative proposed by Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky, as well as other contributions, while specifying that they should not deviate from the central objective; that of promoting a peaceful solution to this conflict.
Kuleba’s visit to Morocco is the first by a Ukrainian foreign minister since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1992.
Mohamed Salem Abdel-Fattah, head of the Sahrawi Center for Media and Human Rights, confirmed that Morocco is reaping the fruits of its balanced stances on international issues, especially in the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, where Kiev has shown a supportive position for Morocco’s sovereignty over its Sahara, and both sides of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis intersect in support of Morocco’s territorial integrity and the adoption of respect. Sovereignty of states.
Abdel Fattah explained to The Arab Weekly that Morocco’s weighty diplomatic presence in the international arena, along with the firmness of the royal diplomatic approach that places the Sahara issue at the core of Morocco’s foreign policy, are two elements that have forced countries wishing to establish themselves in the region and deepen relations with Morocco to express explicit positions in support of Moroccan sovereignty. on the desert.
Hisham Mu’tadid, an academic and Moroccan expert in international and strategic relations, believes that the visit of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister is a positive indicator that reflects Morocco’s success in balancing its relations with Russia and Ukraine, despite the delicate geo-political circumstance through which strategic fluctuations are going through in different regions of the world, especially the political consequences of the Russian war. Ukrainian, highlighting that Ukraine and Russia are aware of the importance of Morocco in North Africa.
Mu’tadid assured the London based news outlet that the Ukrainian support, after the positions of Madrid and Portugal, is considered a diplomatic gain for the Sahara issue and a consolidation of the international trend in support of the Moroccan autonomy initiative.