UN to lead second round of Western Sahara talks

A second round of negotiations on Western Sahara under United Nations mediation was to begin Friday in New York with the participation of Morocco and the Polisario Front, both of which claim the former Spanish colony.

UN to lead second round of Western Sahara talks
A second round of negotiations on Western Sahara under United Nations mediation was to begin Friday in New York with the participation of Morocco and the Polisario Front, both of which claim the former Spanish colony.

The parties met in June for the first round of talks in Manhasset, on New York's Long Island, and Friday's talks were also to take place there under a media blackout.

Since the June talks, both the UN and the United States have urged the two sides to settle their differences through negotiations to break the impasse on the sovereignty issue in Western Sahara. The UN Security Council had called for a popular referendum to resolve the dispute, but it never took place because of deep differences between the sides.

Morocco had wanted to integrate the territory, but now says it would give autonomy to Western Sahara, an encouraging development that would end the impasse. The Polisario had been calling for an independent state after fighting with Morocco.

The two-day talks at Manhasset will be mediated by Peter van Walsum, a Dutch diplomat. The talks will also be attended by Algeria and Mauritania, neighbours of Western Sahara.

DPA
Last Mod: 10 Ağustos 2007, 16:28
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