Moroccan Delegation to Meet UN Envoy for Sahara Next Week in Lisbon

A Moroccan delegation, led by Foreign Minister, will visit Lisbon Tuesday (march 6) for “bilateral talks” with the UN Secretary General’s personal envoy for Western Sahara, Horst Köhler, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

The Moroccan side’s participation in this meeting, at the “invitation of the personal envoy”, aims to “reach a final political solution to the regional dispute around the Sahara,” said the ministry in a statement.

In addition to the head of diplomacy Nasser Bourita, the delegation will include Morocco’s ambassador to the UN Omar Hilale as well as the presidents of two Sahara regions. These are Sidi Hamdi Ould Errachid, President of the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region and Ynja Khattat, President of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region.

During these bilateral consultations, the Moroccan delegation will be “guided by the fundamentals of the national position” as outlined by King Mohammed VI in the speech he delivered on the occasion of the commemoration of the 42nd anniversary of the Green March, on November 6, 2017, said the Moroccan Foreign Ministry.

In this speech, King Mohammed VI reiterated attachment to the firmly established principles and terms of reference on which the Moroccan position on the Sahara question is based, saying that settling the artificial dispute is only conceivable within the framework of Morocco’s “full sovereignty”.

“No’ to any solution to the Sahara question other than within the framework of Morocco’s full sovereignty over its Sahara and the Autonomy Initiative, which has been declared serious and credible by the international community,” the King said, adding that Morocco remains committed to engaging in the “current dynamic” wished for by the UN Secretary General and to collaborating with his Personal Envoy.

Former German President Horst Köhler, who was appointed to the UN position in August last year, made his first tour of the region in October and is trying to revive talks in the decades-old conflict.

Late in January, Horst Köhler separately received in Berlin delegations from Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario front.

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