US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Joey Hood has called for the swift appointment of a Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Western Sahara.
“We support a credible UN-led political process to stabilize the situation and secure a cessation of any hostilities. We are consulting with the parties about how best to bring a halt to the violence and ultimately achieve a lasting settlement,” said Hood.
“We strongly support UN efforts to appoint a Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara as quickly as possible.”
His statement was issued following a meeting he held with Morocco's Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccan Expatriates Nasser Bourita in Rabat on Wednesday.
“This past weekend, we were also excited to see the inaugural commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Marrakech. The United States welcomes Morocco’s steps to improve relations with Israel. The Morocco-Israel relationship will have long-term benefits for both countries,” Hood said.
He added that the US appreciates “Morocco’s continuous support for the UN’s efforts in Libya, and its support for removing foreign forces from Libya and for preparation for successful nationwide elections there — an essential step towards a stable, unified, and democratic Libya.”
During the meeting, Hood and Bourita discussed the regional developments, especially after the Moroccan FM visited Tunisian President Kais Saied on Tuesday.
The minister conveyed a message from King Mohammed VI to the president.
Reliable sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that in the message the King expressed solidarity with Saied.
“We had a chance to talk about how, under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, we are making the already strong US-Morocco strategic partnership even stronger, as we commemorate the bicentennial of the first US diplomatic mission in Morocco – the Tangier American Legation – and celebrate over 200 years of friendship between our two countries,” Hood said in his statement.
“Of course, our bilateral relations are even older than that – dating back to US independence, when Morocco was the first country to recognize the fledgling United States,” he added.
Hood went on to say, “We appreciate Morocco’s continuous and valuable support on issues of common interest such as peace in the Middle East, and stability, security, and development across the region and the African continent.
“We are working together to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic. Just this past weekend, the United States provided more than 300,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines to Morocco.”
He said the US has invested more than $15 million in Morocco’s pandemic response, “working with the Ministry of Health and other partners to raise awareness about COVID-19 risks, train healthcare workers, study vaccine effectiveness, and provide hygiene and laboratory equipment and supplies.”