UN’s Western Sahara envoy en route to Morocco

26 June 2009

The Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy trying to help broker a political solution regarding the status Western Sahara is on his way to Morocco, following a visit to Algeria, a spokesperson for the United Nations said today.

Christopher Ross was in Algeria from 23 to 25 June, during which he met with the President of the country, the Foreign Minister and the Secretary of State for African Affairs, UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters in New York.

He added that Mr. Ross is in Nouakchott, Mauritania today, and will travel to the Moroccan capital, Rabat, tomorrow.

Morocco has presented a plan to give autonomy to Western Sahara, while the Frente Polisario’s position is that the Territory’s final status should be decided in a referendum that includes independence as an option.

Several rounds of UN-led talks held last year resulted in the parties agreeing to continue negotiations in good faith towards a solution to the issue.

The UN mission, known as MINURSO, tasked with organizing a referendum on self-determination in Western Sahara and monitoring the ceasefire between Morocco and the Frente Polisario has been in place since September 1991.

 

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Further talks on Western Sahara need 'careful preparation' – Ban

If progress is to be made on the status of Western Sahara, careful preparation is needed before further talks are held between Morocco and the Frente Polisario on the long-running dispute, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a report released today.