After Laayoune, Italian lawmakers meet Moroccan officials in rabat
Morocco-Italy, Politics, 2/20/2002
After a stay in Laayoune where they met local officials, a group of Italian lawmakers held on Tuesday in Rabat a series of meetings with Moroccan officials, including prime minister, Abderrahmane Youssoufi.
Surveying the historical evolution of the Sahara issue, the premier said the issue is part of Morocco's decolonization of its northern and southern regions for which six international accords were concluded and insisted that Morocco remains attached to its regionalization policy which will be first applied in southern provinces allowing local populations to run their public affairs.
He also told the Italian legislators of the daily sufferings incurred by Moroccans sequestered in the Tindouf camps and by Moroccans detained for over 25 years.
Giulio Andreotti, a former Italian prime minister who is heading the delegation, said the United Nations framework agreement is a feasible formula in Morocco's southern provinces, like similar regional policies applied in several European countries. Anderotti also insisted on the need to set forth a humanitarian plan, in coordination with all specialized bodies, to have the Moroccan prisoners of war liberated.
Another member of the delegation, Fiorello Provera said settling the conflict and consolidating economic and social development are the basis of stability in the Arab Maghreb region and in the Mediterranean basis.
For Gustavo Selver, Morocco has recovered its southern provinces in accordance with international legality and is guaranteeing and respecting the rights of the local populations.
In another meeting with speaker of the house of representatives, the Italian lawmakers reviewed the role of parliaments in consolidating Moroccan-Italian relations and Euro-Mediterranean cooperation and stressed that it is necessary to maintain regular contacts.
Italy is ready to contribute to settling the difficult humanitarian issue of over 1,300 people sequestered by the Algeria-backed Polisario separatists and ending the deplorable situation in which they are living. They also hoped that an urgent solution will be found to the Sahara issue.
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