Italy denies change in Western Sahara stance, reiterates support for Morocco’s proposal

Following recent reports of the opening of VFS-Global’s “temporary branch” in the Algerian city of Tindouf, Italy on Monday denied that it had changed its position and now supports Morocco’s Autonomy plan proposal for the Western Sahara.

Italian embassy in Rabat underlined its appreciation for Morocco’s serious and reliable efforts to resolve the Western Sahara issue in reaction to Algerian media’s celebration of “a diplomatic victory” for the separatist Polisario front.

Specifically, Italy “confirms its position, as expressed in the Declaration on the Multidimensional Strategic Partnership, signed on November 1, 2019 in Rabat, reaffirming the full Italian support to the UN Secretary-General’s efforts to pursue the political process, in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council.”

The Italian embassy further explained that “this decision aims to improve and simplify the filing of visa applications, as similar temporary offices will be opened in the upcoming weeks in other cities in Algeria.”

The Italian government’s stance on the Sahara issue is unrelated to this administrative endeavor, according to an embassy statement.

Italy applauds Morocco’s serious and credible efforts in this area, the statement continued, and encourages all parties to uphold their commitment in a spirit of reality and compromise.

Last week, the pop-up office in Tindouf was opened by VFS-Global, a private firm that provides outsourcing and technology services to governments and diplomatic missions around the world. This action drew vehement criticism in Morocco.

Read Also: Ukraine backs Morocco’s autonomy plan for Sahara, foreign minister

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