Settlement of Western Sahara conflict: Two conflicting parties resume talks Wednesday in Geneva

Algiers, December 3, 2018 (SPS) – The two parties to Western Sahara conflict, Morocco and the Polisario Front will resume talks on Wednesday in Geneva (Switzerland), under the auspices of the UN Special Envoy to Western Sahara Horst Koehler. The two parties will meet to discuss the UN settlement process and make the assessment of the situation since the negotiations interrupted in 2012.

For the first time since Manhasset negotiations failed in 2012, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita will sit face to face with Khatri Addouh, leader of the Sahrawi delegation to Geneva negotiations, in presence of Horst Koehler, who said that his mission to put an end to the 43 year old conflict.

The negotiations, to which Algeria and Mauritania will take part as neighboring states, will also see the participation of Sahrawi coordinator with UN Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) M'hamed Khaddad, Sahrawi representative to the UN Sidi Mohamed Omar, as well as General Secretary of National Sahrawi Women’s Union Fatima El Mahdi and adviser to Polisario Front National Secretariat Mohamed Ali Zerouali.

Morocco also unveiled the members the official delegation, planned to take part in Geneva talks. According to the Moroccan press, the delegation will chaired by Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, who will be accompanied by the Head of General Directorate for Studies and Documentation (DGED -  external intelligence agency), Mohamed Yassine Mansouri.

Organized at the initiative of UN Special Envoy for Western Sahara Horst Koehler, the two day Geneva talks (on 5 -6 December) is intended to speed up the resumption of direct talks between the parties to conflict, the Polisario Front and Morocco.

In its resolutions notably that adopted in April 2018 (2414), the UN called on the two parties to "resume the talks without preconditions and in good faith."

While inviting the conflicting parties, Kohler said that the "main objective" of these talks was "discussing the coming stages likely to relaunch the political process, besides the assessment of the progress recorded since the interruption of Manhasset process in 2012."

In this regard, the Polisario Front has always affirmed readiness to resume the talks with Morocco, under the aegis of UN without preconditions. (SPS)

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