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Cablegate: Russia Supports Fifth Round of Western Sahara Talks

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #2479 2331325
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201325Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9586
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 0126
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0442

UNCLAS MOSCOW 002479

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC PREL PGOV PBTS MO WI RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA SUPPORTS FIFTH ROUND OF WESTERN SAHARA TALKS

REF: STATE 88765

(SBU) We delivered reftel demarche on August 20 to MFA Senior
Counselor for International Organizations Petr Ilichev, who
said that Russia supported holding a fifth round of Western
Sahara talks later this year and preferred that they be led
by the SYG's Personal Envoy Peter Van Walsum. Ilichev
explained that when Van Walsum visited Moscow earlier this
year, the MFA told him that he maintained Russia's confidence
as the person most capable of carrying out further
negotiations on Western Sahara. Ilichev cautioned, however,
that considering that the Polisario said that it had "lost
confidence" in Van Walsum, it might be necessary to "strike a
balance" between supporting him and responding to "facts on
the ground." Ilichev warned against the UN finding itself in
a situation similar to that in Eritrea, where one party would
not agree to meet with the representative named by the SYG.
BEYRLE

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