“Western Sahara: can a Trump tweet lead to unlocking the stalemate?”, Haizam Amirah-Fernández and Isabelle Werenfels (Elcano, Spain)

The outgoing US President Donald Trump recognised Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara in exchange for Morocco normalising relations with Israel. The new Biden Administration still has to make an unequivocal statement defining its position on the conflict. Meanwhile, several scenarios, risks and opportunities arise.

Donald Trump’s unilateral decision to recognise Morocco’s sovereignty over the contested territory of the Western Sahara was a game changer in the decades-long conflict. While inconsistent with international law, paradoxically, it could open up a way for international actors to press Morocco and pro-independence Sahrawis to negotiate a lasting political solution.

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