Seminar on Western Sahara in Mediterranean Conference in Greece

Rhodes (Greece), 20 May 2016 (SPS) - The Department of Mediterranean Studies of the University of Aegean organised the seventh “Mare Nostrum Conference” on the island of Rhodes, Greece, on 18-20 May 2016, under the title “Wider Middle East and North Africa: War, Refugees, Civilisation”.

During the conference, Ms Paraskevi Maragou delivered a paper titled “Western Sahara today” in which she presented an introduction on the history of the region as a Non Self-Governing Territory and the struggle of its people for self-determination. The paper also approached the recent developments and the positions of the main international actors.

“It is an open case, already more than 40 years old. It has two additional features that one would expect to constantly keep it in the centre of the international attention. It belongs to the Arab world and is also the last colony in Africa” emphasised Ms Maragou in her paper, adding that “in a world of contradictions and hypocrisy, the case of Western Sahara conquers new records on every occasion”.

In her comment on Morocco’s participation in the Mediterranean dialogue, Ms Maragou made it clear that Morocco’s illegal, military occupation of Western Sahara and its continuous abuses of human rights of the Sahrawi people do not entitle it to be party to any kind of partnership with the Mediterranean Europe. Besides, she added, “Morocco is an absolute monarchy, where the king remains the absolute master of all powers. His continuous intransigence on the Western Sahara issue creates the conditions for an uncontrolled explosion”.

It should be recalled that Mare Nostrum Conference was organised with the support of the Centre for Studies of the Mediterranean and Middle East Politics and Culture and had the participation of more than 250 speakers and more than 1000 participants. (SPS)