Morocco renews adherence to free, transparent referendum in Sahara
Morocco-Algeria, Politics, 5/25/1999
Morocco has renewed attachment to a free and transparent self-determination referendum in the Sahara.
Morocco is strongly attached to a free and transparent referendum far from any pressure, as wished also by Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Moroccan interior minister, Driss Basri, told the Moroccan Tv channel 2M.
Morocco remains loyally attached to the United Nations settlement plan, like Algeria, Mauritania --as observer countries in the plan-- and all the other members of the U.N. security council, Basri said.
Basri also touched on a recent message sent by the Algerian president to Abdelaziz Marrakshi, head of the Polisario that was mistranslated by the Algerian news agency "APS."
"We have to refer to the clear and unambiguous original version of the message wherein President Bouteflika wished the holding of a self-determination referendum in all independence and transparency in line with the U.N settlement plan and with the Houston accords (concluded between Morocco and the Polisario under the aegis of former U.S secretary of state, James Baker)," Basri said.
President Bouteflika's message was mistranslated, and the authors of this act should shoulder their responsibility, Basri added.
APS had misreported in the French translation of the letter that the Algerian president called for a "referendum for the total independence of the Sahrawi people."
The much-delayed referendum is now slated for July, 2000 to determine whether the Sahara, a former Spanish colony retrieved by Morocco in 1975, sets up on its own as claimed by the Polisario, or remains part of Morocco.
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