US Congress rejects "Morocco's alleged sovereignty" over Western Sahara

APS - 19 March 2022

WASHINGTON-The President of the United States (US) Congress, Senator Patrick Leahy, affirmed, in explicit response to the claims of Morocco, the refusal by the Congress to recognize the so-called sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara, by introducing the aid granted to Western Sahara separately from those allotted to Morocco.

Unlike recent years, Congress has not included Western Sahara under the Morocco-related clause in the Fiscal Year 2022 Act that President Joe Biden signed last Tuesday, which explains the Congress' explicit rejection of attempts to violate international law in Western Sahara.

The document included the position of the US Congress, like the United Nations, not to recognize Morocco's alleged sovereignty over Western Sahara, as assistance to Western Sahara was included elsewhere in the act under the Middle East Partnership Initiative.

The explanatory statement attached to the finance act instructs the US Secretary of State to "continue to support the UN-led political process that achieves a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution for Morocco and the Polisario Front in accordance with relevant United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions."

Senator Patrick Leahy stressed that the political status of Western Sahara is an issue that must be resolved by the parties to the conflict, not by Congress.

Members of the US Congress had sent a letter last Friday to the US President expressing their concern over the US policy towards the conflict in Western Sahara and the arms deals that the Biden administration agreed to conclude with Morocco in December of last year, when the previous administration notified the Congress of arms sales worth US$1 billion to Morocco, adding, "We are concerned that these weapons may be used in an offensive manner against the Sahrawi people or might otherwise facilitate Morocco's illegal occupation of the territory."