Addressing a news conference in Rabat, Morocco, on Tuesday (17 September), King Hassan proposed that Morocco and Spain should submit their dispute over the Spanish Sahara to the World Court at The Hague.
GV Hassan seated at news conference.
SCU Hassan speaking in French.
"In 1964, when Morocco officially asked Spain to raise the problem of the Sahara before international organisations, our positions was based on two considerations. The first was to compel Spain to open a dossier she had always regarded as a domestic matter. The second was to put the question as clearly as possible, as methodically in the substance and as simply in the form as that put by general de Gaulle to the Algerians. Do you want to remain French or to become independent? In our minds, the way to tackle this problem was to ask this question: Do you want to remain colonized or do you want to return to Moroccan rule? It was at no time a matter of asking them to chose between one country or another. For them the choice was between one status or another, not a choice between one country and another."
Initials VS 21.41 VS 22.02
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Background: Addressing a news conference in Rabat, Morocco, on Tuesday (17 September), King Hassan proposed that Morocco and Spain should submit their dispute over the Spanish Sahara to the World Court at The Hague. Morocco claims that the phosphate-rich desert territory lying on the northwest coast of African between Morocco and Mauritania, had been under Moroccan rule for centuries before Spain occupied the area about 40 years ago.
In recent months Morocco has carried out a strong diplomatic campaign to again support for its claims on the territory, and this week's news conference coincided with the opening of the 29th session of the United Nations, where the issue is to be raise.
Spain has already announce plans for a self-determination referendum to be held among the 76,000 population of the Spanish Sahara early next year. King Hassan replied that Morocco would accept this move on certain conditions, including the withdrawal of the Spanish army and administration from the territory and the return of refugees now living in Morocco. He also warned that Morocco would reject any proposals to make the territory an independent state.
King Hassan spoke of Moroccan attempts to come to an agreement with Spain over the territory and its future: