"We think that could be a very productive way to look at this," he told the press after a meeting with king Mohammed VI, voicing hope the parties to the negotiations "would engage constructively on this with good intention."
Noting that the talks are not easy due to the difficulty of the issue, the U.S. official said he expressed to the monarch "the support of the U.S. for the negotiations that have began in response to the proposal made by Morocco," adding: "we hope for a productive continuation of these negotiations."
The talks were held between Morocco and the Algeria-backed separatist movement "Polisario" (in the presence of representatives of neighboring Algeria and Mauritania) in a bid to reach a solution to the 32-year-old conflict on the control of the Sahara, Morocco's Southern Provinces to which the Polisario lays claims. The territory is a former Spanish colony that was ceded to Morocco in 1975 under the Madrid Accord signed between Rabat, Madrid and Nouakchott.
Mr. Welsh who is due to travel to Algeria and Tunisia, ensured that he will express the view of the U.S. to all the leaders of the Maghreb "about what we see is the best way forward." He called for stronger relationships between Morocco and Algeria, despite the Sahara issue.
The U.S. official said he also raised with the sovereign questions related to the region, adding that he informed the monarch on president Bush’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and his desire to see the talks between the two parties go forward productively.
Mr. Welsh said the monarch expressed "the concern and support of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Palestinian people", and also "to see a better future for both sides, through negotiations leading to a solution of two-states."