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The African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa has noted with dismay the announcement of outgoing President of the United States, Donald Trump, of a deal that he brokered, which would see the resumption of normal diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the state of Israel, in exchange for the US recognizing “Moroccan sovereignty over the entire Western Sahara territory.”

The Kingdom of Morocco, a member of the African Union and therefore bound by its Constitutive Act and decisions, has no right to sovereignty over Western Sahara, a position recognized by countless resolutions of the African Union, the United Nations as well as the 1975 ruling of the International Court of Justice. It is only the people of Western Sahara that can make a decision about their own sovereignty and self-determination.

The decision by the Kingdom of Morocco to resume normal diplomatic relations with the State of Israel is unfortunate, whilst the oppression and denial of self-determination of the Palestinian people continue unabated. The unalienable rights of the people of Western Sahara and Palestine to self-determination and freedom shall not be derailed by Trump’s “deal”. It is a sad day for the Kingdom of Morocco as the Chair of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (IOC) and as a custodian of Jerusalem, to accept Trump’s transactional “deal”.

The ANC remains steadfast in its support for the right to self-determination of the peoples of Western Sahara and Palestine, as reflected in its Conference resolutions. It supports the position of the African Union and United Nations that these matters be resolved in a democratic, peaceful and urgent manner.

It is regrettable that outgoing President Trump in his last days in office tries to cement his legacy of reactionary foreign policies, that does not contribute to peaceful resolutions of conflicts in the world, but in fact, fuels hatred and conflict.

The ANC calls on all international and progressive forces on the continent and the world to condemn this deal, and to continue to work for the implementation of UN and AU resolutions.