Rabat, Morocco (TMT)- In the wake of the committees of Foreign Affairs of the house of representatives and the house of councilors of the Moroccan parliament meeting today to answer Ban Ki-moon’s, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, “occupation of Sahara” comments, all members of both houses sang the Moroccan national anthem towards the end of the extraordinary session.
This is the first time, as a matter of fact, that the Moroccan national anthem was sung in the Moroccan parliament.
Morocco’s head of the government, Abdellilah Benkirane, criticized heavily during his intervention Ban Ki-moon’s “occupation of the sahara,” among others, statements. He even received a standing ovation when he ended his speech.
“Ban Ki-moon’s words hurt the feelings and dignity of the Moroccan Sahraoui people, including all Moroccans. I fully understand why the Sahraoui people, including all Moroccans, are very angry, to say the least, these days,” Benkirane said.
“His statements undermine the credibility of the institution he is chairing, especially that his statement is unprecedented. He slipped far away from the neutrality he is supposed to show vis-à-vis this issue,” Benkirane noted.
“Indeed, his statements were in clear deviation from the obligations, traditions, terms and norms of the UN,” Benkirane added.
Among others, Benkirane stressed that the UN secretariat agreed on Ban Ki Moon’s visits to Morocco twice, namely in November and January, before they unilaterally postponed the visits.
“They said that due to urgent matters, Ban Ki-moon can’t make it anymore to Morocco on the previously agreed days. With good intentions, we accepted the first postponing and then the second one.”
“Then they suggested that he visits Morocco in March, but King Mohammed VI’s agenda was full during that period. And instead of finding a suitable timing for both parties, for the regional visit, they decided to carry out a visit to Mauritania and Algeria in March, proposing to only visit Morocco in April,” Benkirane added.
“We did not accept this date as it is not reasonable to postpone the visit to a period post the yearly resolution on the Sahara in the Security Council,” Benkirane said.
Benkirane also wondered why Ban Ki Moon visited Bir Lehlou, stressing that he is the first UN Secretary General to make it there.
When closing, Benkirane said that “Morocco’s strategic regional project, aimed at consolidating the status of Morocco in Africa and to provide a concrete example of a development model for African citizens in the south, has triggered Morocco’s opponents to launch a fierce campaign against our country. We are witnessing this day in and day out due to Morocco’s growing influence.”
It is worth reminding that the parliamentarians of the house of representatives and the house of councilors cannot normally gather for a joint session under the hood of the parliament, unless there is an issue of huge importance or an undermining of Morocco’s sovereignty, among others, as stipulate article 68 of the Moroccan constitution.
The Moroccan Times.