MEPs want to hold Algeria & Polisario to account for blocking new UN Sahara Envoy

MEPs want to hold Algeria & Polisario to account for blocking new UN Sahara Envoy

A group of members of European Parliament has called on EU foreign policy chief Josep Borell to disclose the party or parties that rejected the candidacy of former Romanian PM Petre Roman as new UN Sahara envoy in replacement of German Horst Köhler.

In a written question addressed to the EU’s top diplomat, seven members of the “Renew Europe” parliamentary group wanted to know why Petre’s candidacy has been turned down and whether there is a reasonable ground for nixing his candidacy proposed by the UN Chief Antonio Guterres to the parties to the Sahara conflict.

At a press conference held lately in Dakhla on the sidelines of the opening of Senegal’s consulate in the Saharan city, Morocco’s foreign minister Nasser Bourita said that Rabat has welcomed the UN Chief pick, calling on the UN Security Council to shoulder its responsibility and hold accountable the parties blocking such a UN process, making reference to Algeria and Polisario.

Almost two years after the resignation of Köhler for “health reasons”, the UN Sahara envoy post remains vacant. The delay in appointing a new envoy is “all the more regrettable, especially following the encouraging progress made by all stakeholders at two round tables chaired by Horst Köhler in December 2018 and March 2019”, said the MEPs of Renew Europe group.

Algerian newspaper Al Watan, close to the government, has voiced its opposition to the candidacy of Petre Roman as new UN envoy for the Sahara, saying his proximity to Morocco disqualifies him from taking the UN job.

The Biden administration is pressing UN Secretary General to speed up the appointment of a new UN envoy for the Sahara, a post which remains vacant since May 2019.

“Filling such a high-profile position is not an easy job”, had said Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, in a recent daily press briefing.


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