The 41st European Conference for support and solidarity with Sahrawi people, (EUCOCO) 2016, opened Friday in the Spanish city of Vilanova (Barcelona) with the participation of MPs and representatives of the governments of many countries, in addition to non-governmental associations.
The opening session was marked by a special tribute to the late Sahrawi president, Mohamed Abdelaziz, with the screening of a documentary film on his life and path.
In a brief statement, President Abdelaziz's widow Khadija Hamdi underlined his love for his people and his commitment to peaceful struggle for the independence of his country.
Mohamed Abdelaziz "dedicated his entire life to his people," she said, adding "he strongly believed in the role of the international movement of support to the Sahrawi cause, which will ultimately triumph, and in the role played by Algeria to that end as well as the role of African countries."
During the opening session, the head of the Coordination of the Spanish Associations of Solidarity with the Sahrawi People, Jose Taboada underlined that "the Spanish solidarity associations will never stop supporting the struggle of Sahrawi people until they recover their rights," adding that "Spain has to complete the decolonization process in Western Sahara."
In this regard, Taboada said that Spain would have an opportunity in December, when it will hold the presidency of the United Nations Security Council, to "remedy its past injustices by pushing for a genuine debate that would lead to setting a date for the referendum on self-determination, and broadening the mandate of the United Nations Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to include human rights monitoring."
Dr Said Ayache, head of the Algerian committee supporting Sahrawi people, reiterated Algeria's unwavering position on that issue.
Algeria will remain faithful to its principles and will continue to support the Sahrawi people in their struggle until they recover their rights, in accordance with the international law, he said.
For his part, the deputy speaker of the People's National Assembly (Lower House of Parliament), Merzagui Rami paid tribute to the late Sahrawi president, Mohamed Abdelaziz, stressing that "Algeria will remain the land of freedom and revolutionaries and will never stop its support to the Sahrawi cause."
He also underlined the urgent need for the international community "to speed up the holding of the referendum on self-determination, the protection of Sahrawi civilians and the release of all Sahrawi political prisoners."