Latest Round Of UN-Backed Western Sahara Talks
Latest Round Of UN-Backed Western Sahara Talks Begin Next Week
New York, Dec 10 2010 6:10PM
The next round of informal talks between the parties to the conflict over Western Sahara will take place from 16 to 18 December in New York, the United Nations announced today.
Participating in the talks, which are being held at the invitation of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, will be delegations of the parties to the dispute – Morocco and the Frente Polisario – and the neighbouring States, Algeria and Mauritania.
Mr. Ross expected to issue a communiqué at the end of the informal discussions, which follow the last round that took place in November.
“The parties agreed that at the next meeting they will explore innovative approaches in order to create an environment for progress,” UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York.
“At their last talks, each party continued to reject the proposal of the other as a basis for future negotiations,” he added.
In its resolution 1871 of 2009, the Security Council called on the parties to continue their dialogue under the auspices of the Secretary-General to achieve “a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.”
The UN has been involved in efforts towards a settlement in Western Sahara since 1976, when fighting broke out between Morocco and the Frente Polisario after the Spanish colonial administration of the territory ended.
Morocco has presented a plan for autonomy while the position of the Frente Polisario is that the territory’s final status should be decided in a referendum on self-determination that includes independence as an option.