Morocco, Polisario to resume informal Sahara talks

The United Nations says the aim of next week's talks is to prepare the ground for another round of formal negotiations.

Morocco, Polisario to resume informal Sahara talks

Morocco and Western Sahara movement will resume talks next week to try to make headway in the 35-year dispute over the Northwest African territory, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Negotiators will hold informal U.N.-mediated discussions on Feb. 10-11 in Westchester County, north of New York City, U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said. He gave no further details of the venue.

Morocco annexed Western Sahara in 1975 and is now offering it autonomy, but the Polisario independence movement, which fought a guerrilla war until 1991, is demanding a referendum on the territory's future with independence as one option.

Morocco, meanwhile, is going ahead with a plan to devolve some power to its regions that analysts say is linked to its autonomy proposal for Sahara. Polisario activists say the plan is a smokescreen to tighten control over the territory.

The United Nations says the aim of next week's talks is to prepare the ground for another round of formal negotiations.

Polisario's New York office said its team would be the same as at the Austria talks, led by Mahfoud Ali Beiba, speaker of Polisario's parliament-in-exile. Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri led his country's team at Duernstein.


Reuters

Last Mod: 03 Şubat 2010, 16:27
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