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Morocco pledges to continue UN-backed process for resolving Western Sahara dispute

Morocco pledges to continue UN-backed process for resolving Western Sahara dispute

Taïb Fassi Fihri, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco
Morocco said today that it remains committed to working within the United Nations-backed process for resolving its long-running conflict with the Frente Polisario over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

The country’s Foreign Minister, Taïb Fassi Fihri, told the General Assembly’s high-level segment that Morocco is “faithfully and responsibly” following the appeals of the Security Council to obtain “a political, lasting and negotiated solution” to the dispute.

The Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy Christopher Ross has led several rounds of talks with the two sides – most recently in August this year – but has been unable to broker a solution to the conflict, which began when fighting broke out between Morocco and the Frente Polisario after Spain’s colonial administration of Western Sahara ended in 1976.

The UN mission there, known as MINURSO, is tasked with monitoring the ceasefire reached in September 1991 and organizing a referendum on self-determination in Western Sahara.

Morocco has presented a plan for autonomy, while the Frente Polisario’s position is that the territory’s final status should be decided in a referendum on self-determination that includes independence as an option.

Mr. Fassi Fihri said his country was committed to pursuing a solution “with full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Morocco, while granting the population of the Sahara provinces an autonomous status that is likely to ensure their progress and well-being and allow them to manage their domestic affairs in a democratic way.”