Morocco Welcomes Sahara Provisions in 2017 US Appropriations Bill

The Kingdom of Morocco welcomes the provisions on the Moroccan Sahara contained in the 2017 US Appropriations Bill, signed Friday by President Donald Trump.

This bill stipulates that the funds destined for Morocco are also usable in the Moroccan Sahara. Indeed, the bill provides that “the funds allocated [to Morocco] under Title III… shall be made available to support the Western Sahara”.

Similarly, the report accompanying this bill and explaining its provisions, unambiguously reaffirms the support of the US Congress to the Moroccan Autonomy Initiative.

The report underlines that “the US State Secretary should pursue a negotiated settlement to this dispute, in accordance with the US policy supporting a solution based on a formula of autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty”.

In this text, the US Administration is also encouraged “to support private sector investments in the Western Sahara”.

Moreover, the bill approved by the Congress and signed by the US President, asked the State Secretary to present a report, within 45 days, “describing the measures taken to strengthen the control of the delivery of humanitarian assistance to refugees in North Africa”, in a barely hidden reference to the population in Tindouf camps, south-western Algeria.