U.S. Congress calls on Biden not to conclude any arms agreement with Morocco

Washington, 5 March 2022 (SPS) - Members of the US Congress have called on President Joe Biden not to conclude any arms agreement with Morocco amid fears about the use of these weapons against the Saharawi people.

In a recent letter to President Biden, eleven members of the U.S. Congress expressed "concern" about U.S. policy in Western Sahara, and about the agreements on arms sales to the Kingdom of Morocco, concluded between Washington and Rabat.

The signatories recalled, in their letter, that the former U.S. administration had already informed the U.S. Congress in December 2020 of the sale of U.S. weapons for an amount of one billion dollars to Morocco including four MQ-9B Skyguardian drones and JDAM ammunition. The signing of this agreement is expected under the current administration.

To this end, they called on the Biden administration "not to conclude any agreement with Morocco on heavy or offensive weapons" and state that "these sales are inappropriate because of the lack of Moroccan guarantees that these weapons will not be used against the Sahrawi people and because of the lack of progress on the organization of a political referendum and the conclusion of a final peace agreement in Western Sahara.

In addition, members of the U.S. Congress "expressed their concern about the use of these weapons" which, they say, could "consolidate the illegal occupation of Sahrawi territory by the Kingdom of Morocco.

In addition, they also said they are "concerned" about the policy of the United States in Western Sahara and the decision of the former administration (of Donald Trump) to recognize, in December 2020, the alleged sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara, "while for decades, previous U.S. administrations, Republicans and Democrats, have refused to recognize the alleged sovereignty of Morocco on the occupied territory," they further recalled in their letter.

"Because of this change in policy, the United States is now the only country in the world to officially recognize Morocco's claims that are contrary to international law and the right to self-determination," they added.

The signatories expressed, moreover, their wish that the "crucial role" played by the United States in the Sahrawi conflict, 47 years old, "can allow the Sahrawi people to exercise its legitimate and inalienable right to self-determination.

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