The President of the Canary Islands Government Mr. Fernando Clavijo reiterated the support of his government and Canarian people to the Saharawi people for their right to freedom and self-determination, during a meeting with a Polisario Front representative in Spain Mr. Bachraya Hamudi Bayun.
From his part, the Canary official expressed the principled position of his government towards the Saharawi people and their just cause, voicing the readiness of his government to provide all forms of humanitarian support for the Sahrawi refugees, renewing his government support to the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and his Personal Envoy, Mr. Christopher Ross to reach a solution which enable the Saharawi people the right to freedom and independence.
Fernando Clavijo pledged to work towards the Spanish central government, urging it to shoulder the historic responsibility towards the Saharawi people and to play a crucial role within the UN Security Council to push him to accelerate the decolonization of Western Sahara and to enable the Saharawi people to free self-determination.
The meeting which was attended by Polisario Front representative in the Canary Islands Mr. Hamdi Mansour reviewed the latest developments in the Saharawi issue at the international level and the UN peace plan in Western Sahara, in addition to bilateral relations between the two people and the ways to promote it.
The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) is a partially recognized state that controls a thin strip of 102,703 sq mi area in the Western Sahara region and claims sovereignty over the entire territory of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony. SADR was proclaimed on February 27, 1976, in Bir Lehlou, Western Sahara. The Saharawis are ethnically mixed descendants of Berbers, Arabs, and Black Africans. They speak an Arabic dialect called Hassaniya and have practiced Sunni Islam since the late 7th century.
The SADR government controls about 20–25% of the territory it claims which inhabits 502,585 people. It calls the territories under its control the Liberated Territories or the Free Zone. Morocco controls and administers the rest of the disputed territory and calls these lands its Southern Provinces. The SADR government considers the Moroccan-held territory to be occupied territory, while Morocco considers the much smaller SADR-held territory to be a buffer zone. The claimed capital of the SADR is El Aaiún, while the temporary capital (due to the placing of its government) is Tifariti.