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Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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The Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for the Sahara, Peter Van Walsum, starts a visit to the region from February 6 to February 14, UN spokesman, Michèle Montas said, on Monday.



  Mr. Walsum will visit Rabat, Tindouf (south-western Algeria), Algiers and Nouakchott, Mr.Montas said during a press briefing, recalling that the visit is taking place ahead of the fourth round of UN-led talks in Manhasset, New York, set for 11-13 March, between Morocco and the Algerian-backed separatist movement "Polisario".

        Morocco and the Polisario have, so far, held three rounds of talks in Manhasset (New York), in June (18-19), August (10-11) and January ( 7-9) in conformity with UN Security Council resolution 1754 that called for negotiations "without preconditions" and "in good faith."

       Besides Morocco and Polisario, the negotiations were attended by delegations from Morocco’s neighbors, Algeria and Mauritania in the presence of the U.N. facilitator, Peter Van Walsum.   
 
    During a meeting on Monday of the Security council on the Sahara issue the member states “welcome that the parties reiterated their commitment to show political and negotiate in good faith and agreed on the need to move the process into a more and substantive phase of negotiations under United Nations auspices.”
 
   The Council members also “reaffirm their strong support for the efforts of the Secretary-general and his Personal Envoy to implement resolutions 1754 (2007) and 1783 (2007).”

    In a statement to MAP following the security Council meeting, the Moroccan Ambassador to the United Nations, El Mostafa Sahel, reaffirmed Morocco's readiness to enter into "serious and substantial negotiations" with the the "Polisario" in a bid to settle the 32-year old dispute.

    He also hoped that the other parties (Polisario and Algeria)"seize the historic opportunity" provided by the North African country's proposal to grant substantial autonomy to the Sahara. An initiative that was widely commended as “serious” and “credible” by several influential capitals.

Source: Map
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