Monday, July 16, 2007

Italy recognizes Polisario, is the first European country to do so

Western Sahara news taketh away, but it also giveth. In a diplomatic coup, Italy's lower house of Parliament has asked its government to recognize the Polisario mission in Italy as an official diplomatic mission.

The Sahara Occidental blog has links to a bunch of articles in Italian and one in French, but the UPES article I linked to above is in English. According to the article, several Italian political parties supported the resolution, which also includes a call for the Italian government to oppose "any solution that does not respect the right of the Saharawi people right to self-determination."

Now, Italy isn't a permanent member of the Security Council, but this is huge. Being recognized by Italy will give Polisario more credibility in its dealings with other nations, but even better it shows nations outside the developing world are willing to work with Polisario. I suppose it'll also prevent Italian companies from participating in arrangements that plunder Western Sahara's resources.

I hope this is the first domino knocking down many European states that curiously haven't recognize Polisario. Where, for example, is Norway?

Update: as always-on-his-game Laroussi pointed out, only the Italian lower parliament passed the resolution, not the entire government as I said earlier. This Sahara Press Service article makes that clearer. Still, the UPES said the Italian Deputy Foreign Minister was there. Doesn't that bode well for the resolution's eventual success?



  1. Laroussi9:00 AM

    The move in the Italian parliament is very interesting, but I believe that UPES is a getting bit ahead of itself this time. The parliament has approved a resolution that calls for the Italian government to grant Polisario diplomatic status.

    The passed motion might well lead to that Italy recognizes the Polisario mission in Italy as an official diplomatic mission - but this has not happened yet, as SPS points out.

    "Maxima enim, patientia virtus". Patience is a vertue...

  2. Point taken and corrections made.

  3. What a let down. As a cartographer I think I have an obligation to sell only maps that recognize the polisario. If only I delt with maps in that region...

  4. Obviously, your solidarity is appreciated. If you ever do have to sell a map of Morocco that doesn't demarcate Western Sahara, it's acceptable to draw a sea monster on the Moroccan side and something along the lines of "Here there by authoritarian monarchists and censors."

  5. Laroussi6:37 PM

    Personally I wouldn't mind a copy of a Moroccan map that includes the Canary Islands, besides Western Sahara and the west of Algeria.

    I believe the Spanish prime minister Zapatero was photographed in front of such a map at his last visit to Morocco. Not too popular at home, that move.

    I guess it is something like this, but with the Canary Islands included.

    I wonder if the size of the map has something to do with the now old fashioned "Lebensraum"? Both Algeria and Western Sahara seem to have experienced their own "Anschluss" (I have a version of this map with better quality somewhere, but I can't find it).

    Here's however another map of the region. Also published in Germany, but this time in 1841 - pre Spanish colonization of Western Sahara. Curious borderline north of today's Tarfaya...

  6. Laroussi9:10 AM

    PS. The vote last Thursday in the Italian parliament has caused "concern" at Morocco’s embassy in Rome, writes the Italian news agency Il Velino.

  7. tangerino10:47 AM

    breaking news
    the Moroccans patriot are on final stage of organising a second green march toward tindouf, they want to liberate there brothers @sisters from the biggest prison on this planet run by polisario @supported by there Masters,the march will be called ((the green liberation))

  8. That would be whacky. When they get there, can they ask the Tindouf Sahrawis why the UN never complained about their treatment, aside restrictions on free association?

    That's a serious problem, but it hardly sounds like a prison.