UK government reiterates support to Sahrawi people's right to self-determination

London, May 8, 2016 (SPS) - The UK Parliament has called on the government to support the holding of a referendum in Western Sahara, and the UK government has reiterated its support to the right of Sahrawi people to self-determination, said Saturday a parliamentary source in London.


The Scottish National Party MP, Alan Brown sent written questions, last Wednesday, to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the holding of a referendum in Western Sahara and on the recent consultation between London and Rabat on the issue.


In his reply to the questions, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Tobias Elwood said that the "the UK encourages the parties to the conflict (Western Sahara and Morocco) to cooperate with the United Nations in its efforts to reach a mutually acceptable solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara."


London reiterates its position in favour of a lasting solution to the conflict, said Tobias, who added that "it is for the parties to the dispute to agree a resolution of the final status of Western Sahara."


Following the adoption of the resolution 2285 by the UN Security Council, London called for a lasting mutually acceptable political solution for Western Sahara, providing for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.


UK Ambassador to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft said that London supported the UN position on the issue, adding that "the United Kingdom's position on this (issue) remains the same: the UN process will continue to have our full support," he stressed.


Rycroft also urged all parties "to engage constructively with each other, and the UN process, so that together we can find a solution and settle the question of Western Sahara once and for all."


"Doing so is not only of the utmost importance for the Sahrawi refugees -who continue to suffer from this protracted dispute- but also for the security and economic prosperity of all countries and all peoples in the Maghreb region," he said.


A debate on the self-determination of Western Sahara was held at the UK Parliament on 20 April, with the participation of MPs and members of the government.


The participants underlined the need to end the Western Sahara conflict by the holding of a referendum on self-determination, in accordance with the international law.  (SPS)