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HM the King addresses the nation on 35th anniversary of Green March.

Summary: Midelt - HM King Mohammed VI delivered a speech to the Moroccan people on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Green March.

Midelt - HM King Mohammed VI delivered a speech to the Moroccan people on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Green March.

Here follows the full text of the speech:

Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin

My loyal subjects,

As we celebrate the thirty-fifth anniversary of the glorious Green March, we are firmly determined to give new meaning to this epic event through bold, participatory initiatives and ongoing democratic, development-oriented measures that enhance the nation's unity.

The most important measure is the autonomy initiative, which has brought about a decisive shift and made it possible to go beyond the stage of national consensus and UN and international support. Not only has it elicited positive reactions across the board, but it has also been seen as a beacon of hope inside the Tindouf camps.

The autonomy initiative constitutes a break with approaches deemed inapplicable by the United Nations Organization. It has triggered a positive, realistic negotiating process under the aegis of the United Nations.

Whereas our country has always taken a clear, realistic stand and been committed to dialogue, the enemies of our territorial integrity have consistently sought to evade their responsibilities, resorting to endless maneuvers to foil the innovative, dynamic process set in motion by the autonomy initiative.

The international community, therefore, has to clearly and unequivocally say who is responsible for obstructing the negotiating process. Needless to say, Morocco's adversaries are doing all they can to maintain the current state of inertia, obduracy and division, rather than promote dialogue and concord.

The era of shirking one's responsibilities is over; now is the moment of truth, when the international community will see the repression, intimidation, humiliation and torture suffered by our sons and daughters in the Tindouf camps, in blatant violation of the basic principles of international humanitarian law.

In the face of such a tragic situation, my loyal subjects in the camps - men and women, young and old - are bravely and increasingly standing up to tyranny and oppression, as is clearly illustrated by their return to the homeland in great numbers, notwithstanding a merciless siege. They are responding freely and spontaneously to the autonomy initiative and the advanced regionalization project.

We want to draw the attention of the international community and of human rights organizations to the fact that it is neither admissible nor equitable to be indifferent to or complacent about a situation that is peculiar from the legal perspective, tragic from the humanitarian angle and unacceptable from the political viewpoint.

I also call on the international community and human rights organizations to shoulder their responsibilities, by bringing an end to such unprecedented behavior as Algeria's ongoing violations of international humanitarian law, particularly its refusal to let the UNHCR conduct a population census in the camps or protect the residents there.

Let me point out, in this regard, that I shall never abandon my loyal subjects in the Tindouf camps, or wherever else they may be. We shall spare no effort to enable them to enjoy their basic rights to freedom of expression and movement, and their right of return to their homeland.

I condemn the shameful abuse of the freedoms afforded by our country. This is an attempt to undermine our territorial integrity, and we shall allow no one to challenge or disrupt the democratic process under way in the country.

My loyal subjects,

Morocco, which exercises full sovereignty over its entire territory and unequivocally upholds its international obligations, condemns the incorrect, misleading reference being made to "controlled areas" east of the line of defense. Surely, everyone knows the peaceful nature of that line, and the wise reasons behind its creation.

Our country will accept no violation, alteration, or questioning of the Moroccan character of these areas; nor will it tolerate provocative attempts to impose facts on the ground or upset the status quo.

Being committed to the nation's best interests and to international legitimacy, Morocco will continue to cooperate, in good faith, with the UN Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy in order to achieve a final, political solution to this artificial regional dispute, on the basis of the autonomy initiative.

My loyal subjects,

Whatever positive developments there may be in connection with our national cause, we have to keep in mind that to capitalize on these changes and successfully rise to the challenge, we have to pursue the implementation of the integrated strategic action I outlined in last year's speech commemorating the Green March.

aFirst of all, there is the advanced regionalization project which I have launched and from which the Saharan provinces will be the first to benefit. It involves broader democratic management of regional affairs and the promotion of human rights through regional and local mechanisms. The Saharan provinces will also be benefitting from devolved governance, on a priority basis.

aSecondly, there is the restructuring of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs. God willing, we shall soon be issuing the Royal Decree instituting the Council with its new membership; it will be set up in light of the following fundamental reform measures:

a-the democratization of the Council's make-up by restricting its membership to representative institutions, tribal leaders and key figures, making sure it is more open, in particular, to new elites, especially those representing local civil society, human rights institutions, young people, women and productive sectors, as well as representatives of our citizens who have returned to the homeland and of Moroccans living abroad;

a-the introduction of good governance to ensure the Council has efficient bodies and uses rational working methods;

a-- the expansion the Council's powers to include prerogatives relating, in particular, to representation, development, national and international mobilization, as well as steps to achieve reconciliation among all the sons and daughters of the Moroccan Sahara.

As regards the third course of action, concerning the restructuring of the Agency for the Development of the Southern Provinces, I have made the following two decisions:

athe first one concerns the Agency's jurisdiction in the Saguia El Hamra and Oued Eddhahab region, as well as the focus to be placed on implementing human development projects and local programs that create jobs for youth, foster social justice and facilitate the accommodation and integration of our fellow citizens who return to the motherland.

aThe second decision concerns the creation of a similar agency that will have jurisdiction over the remaining regions currently covered by the Agency for the Development of the Southern Provinces, as well as over other regions. The new agency will be entrusted with the task of pursuing efforts to develop these regions which are dear to my heart. In this connection, I ask the government to take the necessary measures to implement these two decisions as quickly as possible.

As for the main elements of the strategy designed to keep up the nation's mobilization and support the untiring efforts of our diplomatic service, I should like to insist on the need to bolster our diplomatic action with bold, parallel initiatives to be undertaken by Parliament, political parties, human rights associations, civil society and the media with a view to defending our just cause.

I should like, in this respect, to reiterate our loyalty to the memory of the architect of the Green March, my revered father His Majesty King Hassan II - may he rest in peace - and our commitment to its everlasting oath. I also want to pay tribute to the martyrs of our territorial integrity, as well as to the military and security forces that are defending the territorial integrity of our nation. I pray that Almighty God grant us success in all we set out to do in order to maintain the unity of our country and promote the dignity of our citizens.

Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

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Publication:Agence Maghreb Arabe Presse (MAP)
Geographic Code:6MORO
Date:Nov 6, 2010
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