Parties to Sahara conflict to hold third roundtable-UN

Parties to Sahara conflict to hold third roundtable-UN

The parties to the Sahara conflict Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the separatist Polisario front will convene a third meeting to discuss a realistic, political, lasting and mutually acceptable solution to the over-four decade conflict, the UN Personal Envoy to the Sahara said.

“Delegations engaged courteously and openly in an atmosphere of respect,” said the UN envoy Horst Köhler in a statement at the end of the second roundtable held at Le Château Le Rosey in Bursins, near Geneva, March 21-22 with the participation of the parties to the conflict.

“Delegations held in-depth discussions on how to achieve a mutually acceptable political solution to the question of Western Sahara,” he said.

The UN statement underscored that the solution should also be “realistic, practicable, enduring” and based on compromise in line with Security Council Resolution 2240 which stressed the need for the participation of Algeria in negotiations.

Algeria, which arms, hosts and backs the Polisario separatist front diplomatically has refused in the last four decades to pull its head out of the sand as it continues to deny any responsibility in the Sahara conflict.

The statement clearly puts the third round on the track of finding a mutually acceptable solution, which de facto overrules the unfeasible option of a referendum for independence pushed for by the Polisario and its mentor, Algeria.

The Moroccan delegation, led by foreign minister Nasser Bourita, made it clear that the autonomy initiative offered by Morocco to settle the conflict since 2007 is in line with the UN Security Council resolution to find a realistic and mutually acceptable solution.

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