US Congress delegation visits Saharawi refugee camps

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PUSL – February 24, 2019 .- A delegation from the USA composed of 17 personalities including six parlamentarians, headed by James Inhofe Chairman of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, and Finance Committee Chairman Enzi Michael Bradley.

The President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and Secretary General of the POLISARIO front, Brahim Ghali, received this Sunday the US delegation.

Speaking to the press, after an interview with the President of the Republic, Brahim Gali, Mr. Inhofe said that the visit of this important delegation “falls within the framework of the encouragement of the peoples right to the recovery of freedom desired for years”.

“It is an incentive for people like Western Sahara to recover their freedom”.

“This visit is linked to the issue of negotiations and the continuation of efforts in this direction,” said the American official and expressed hope that the meeting next March between the two parties in conflict “be fruitful and that this visit has “favorable echo in the negotiations”.

The American congressman added that among the delegation “there are six parliamentarians elected by the American people who reaffirm their commitment to support this aspiration of ofreedom”.

This is not the first visit of US Senator James Inhofe, who accompanied by a large delegation of US senators, paid a similar visit to the Saharawi people in February 2017.

James Inhofe accompanies the Western Sahara issue for over a decade.

In 2005 he testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the conflict with Morocco and the Western Sahara:

“Unfortunately, Morocco’s handling of the dispute over Western Sahara over the years has been less than encouraging.  Morocco has gone back and forth in agreeing to give the Western Saharans a right to self-determination; a choice in determining their political destiny.

The people of the Western Sahara have languished in desert camps for more than 30 years as the conflict has gone unresolved.  I have visited the camps and have seen with my own eyes that their story is one of determination, persistence and hope that one day they will enjoy the basic rights all humans deserve—the right to life and to self-determination.  There have been many negotiations, and it is my hope that a resolution will be reached in the near future, and Morocco will give the Western Saharans the right to choose for themselves their future.” 

14 years after this testimony nothing has changed, but apparently there is a renewed interest on the part of the North American administration for the resolution of this conflict.

The visit of this US delegation is particular meaningful shortly before the new meeting in Geneva between Morocco and Polisario Front under the auspices of the United Nations and the expressed desire of the US to see an end to the long lasting conflict.