Washington, 19 December 2020 (SPS) - Morocco hires lobbyists to influence Washington decisions concerning Western Sahara question, Senator James Inhofe said on Thursday in front of the UN Congress.
"Today, right now, Morocco is represented by JPC Strategies, Third Circle, and Neale Creek, and average over $1 million each year. So all these lobbyists in Washington have been hired by Morocco," assured James Inhofe who is President of the US Senate’s Defense Committee.
Inhofe also mentioned seven other firms specializing in political issues, hired by Morocco during 2005. These are "the Livingston Group, Tew Cardenas, Edelman public relations, Miller & Chevalier, Gabriel and company, Robert Holley, and Whiton Case."
"And whom do the Western Saharans have to lift up their voices? They have no one—no one at all," he said during an audition to the Senate, on the US outgoing president Donald Trump’s alleged sovereignty over Western Sahara.
Moreover, he said that the reactions around the world are clearly unfavorable to this announcement which was made in exchange of the normalization between Morocco and Israel.
He cited the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, Algeria and the United Kingdom which all regarded the recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahrawi territories as contrary to international law and the right to self-determination, recognized to the Sahrawi people by the international community.
The senator drew attention to the fact that the United Nations and the African Union have announced that their position remains "unchanged" vis-à-vis the Sahrawi question.
---A decision contrary to international law ---
"The European Union indicated last Thursday that the status of Western Sahara has not been determined and must be negotiated in a process led by the United Nations," he said adding that the United Kingdom had also decided to maintain unchanged its position on the status of Western Sahara.
"Algeria said that the conflict of Western Sahara is a question of decolonization which can only be resolved through the application of the international law and the well-established charter of the United Nations and the African Union in this matter, which provides for the authentic exercise by the Sahrawi people of their inalienable right to self-determination and independence," added the Republican senator.
"Since the Polisario proclaimed the establishment of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in 1976, 84 countries have recognized Western Sahara as an independent state,’’ he recalled.
The Senator added that the United States had supported, since 1966, the right of the Sahrawi people to have their own country, evoking the various trade agreements signed between the United States and Morocco and which did not cover the Sahrawi territory, precisely because of the non-recognition by the United States of Western Sahara as part of Morocco.
What is happening in Western Sahara has long been considered "a frozen and forgotten conflict" which let the status quo continue, leaving the Western Saharan people in limbo, he said.
"When we talk about a frozen conflict, we know that nothing is going to happen," placing the Sahrawi people in "limbo, awaiting a promised referendum, many years back, in 1966", he regretted.
"The forgotten conflict allowed Morocco to continue encroaching and getting away with human rights abuses” in occupied Western Sahara, he said.
James Inhofe, Senator from Oklahoma, fervent defender of the Sahrawi cause, was until recently a close advisor to Donald Trump before parting ways with him, after a quarrel over amendments to be made to the US defense budget. (SPS)