Should President Biden Endorse Former President Trump’s Decision to Recognize Morocco’s Sovereignty over Western Sahara?

Sovereignty over Western Sahara has been the subject of a dispute between Morocco and the indigenous people, the Saharawis, since 1974. In December of 2020, President Trump declared that the US would recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara as part of a deal under which Morocco would “normalize” its diplomatic relations with Israel.  If this decision is endorsed by President Biden, the US will become the only nation to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty claim. We invited a distinguished panel to consider the causes and implications of former President Trump’s decision.  
Katlyn Thomas
, Member of the International Law Committee and former Chair of the UN Committee 

First panel: 
Sandra Babcock
, Clinical Professor of Law,  Cornell University Law School
Roger S. Clark, Board of Governors Professor of Law, Rutgers University Law School
Eugene Kontorovich, Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University and Director of the Law School’s Center for the Middle East and International Law

Second panel:
Ambassador John Bolton
, Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations (2005 – 2006); former United States National Security Advisor (2018 -2019) 
Ambassador Christopher Ross, United States diplomat in Libya (1969-70) and Morocco (1970-73), U.S. Ambassador to Algeria (1988-91) and to Syria (1991-98), State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism (1998-99), and Personal Envoy of the U.N. Secretary-General for Western Sahara (2009 to 2017) 
Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C.; former Assistant Secretary of State (1981-89); former Deputy National Security Advisor (2005-2009)

Sponsoring Committees:
International Law, Ulyana Bardyn, Chair
United Nations, Clayton T. Cheney, Chair

Related Report:

Letter to the United Nations Secretary General Re Support of the Expansion of Western Sahara