In a joint statement, 18 mayors from the Piedmont region in northern Italy expressed their support for the Moroccan Self-government initiative for the Sahara, the solution presented by Morocco to the UN in 2007.
In this sense, the Italian officials “welcomed the advanced regionalisation process which provides for a new and more dynamic policy of territorial management”. The mayors expressed their commitment to support the process, adding that Morocco’s autonomy plan plays “a central role”.
The 18 representatives of Italian municipalities also expressed their appreciation of the positive developments in Morocco, citing democracy, human rights, economic progress, women’s empowerment and inter-cultural dialogue.
The Moroccan diaspora in Italy plays an active role in local and regional economic development, added the declaration of the 18 mayors, which comes a few weeks after a meeting between the mayors and representatives of the Moroccan embassy in Italy on 25 January. It is also part of the strategic partnership between Morocco and Italy, signed in Rabat on November 1, 2019.
The declaration was signed by the mayors of Bairo, Bosconero, Castellamonte, Cuorgne, Favria, Forno Canavese, Levone, Lusiglie, Montalenghe, Oglianico, Ozegna, Rivara, Rivarolo Cuanavese, Salassa, San Giusto Canasavese, San Ponso, Torre Canavese and Valperga.
The initiative offers the Sahara the right to be independent and to have its own parliament and president, while remaining under Moroccan sovereignty. The plan is currently one of the strongest proposals for resolving the conflict, with a large number of countries reiterating their support for the Moroccan initiative.