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Monday, August 19, 2019
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The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday held consultations in New York on the issue of the Moroccan Sahara, in the presence of the UNSG Personal Envoy for the Sahara Horst Köhler, who briefed the Council members on his latest efforts to relaunch talks.

Köhler told the Council’s members that he intends to hold a new round table next March similar to the one held in Geneva last December, which would be preceded by bilateral meetings with the parties, ambassadors of the Security Council’s member countries told reporters at the end of the closed consultations. UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for the Sahara will hold separate talks with all parties (Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and Polisario) in February in order to develop an "agenda" for a new round table in March, according to the same sources. Asked by MAP following the end of the consultations, Köhler confirmed that he intends to hold a new meeting in March that will bring together Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario. "We are preparing for the next round and we are expecting a good meeting in March," he said. “There is unanimous support to the efforts of the personal envoy Köhler, whose vision and commitment to the momentum that he contributed to create are second to none,” French ambassador to the UN, François Delattre told reporters. “He did not mention a specific date but the context according to Köhler’s words, is favourable. He feels a real momentum and he has a vision and the trust of all the delegations at the table. So there is a good environment,” he added. For his part, German Ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen, said that the Personal Envoy remains "very committed" to this issue and he reiterated before the Security Council his willingness to reach "a realistic, practical and lasting solution" to the Moroccan Sahara issue. "It was very important to see everyone around the table supporting him and everyone said it is a conflict where we can have a solution," the German ambassador told reporters. According to him, the settlement of this conflict would be positive "for the inhabitants of the region, because the economic potential of Maghreb is immense, but unfortunately it is not exploited today because of this conflict".

 

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