Western Sahara talks end with no accord

The Polisario Front, with the support of Algiers, wants a referendum on self-determination, with independence as one of the options.

Western Sahara talks end with no accord

Morocco and the Polisario Front independence movement failed to narrow their differences Friday after two days of informal talks on the disputed Western Sahara in suburban New York, a UN statement said.

The mediator, former U.S. diplomat Christopher Ross, said the discussions between officials from Rabat and the Polisario Front on the 35-year-old dispute took place in an atmosphere of "serious engagement, frankness, and mutual respect."

"The proposals of the two parties were again presented and discussed. By the end of the meeting, neither party had accepted the proposal of the other as the sole basis of future negotiations," Ross said in a statement to reporters.

The two sides nevertheless said they would continue their negotiations "as soon as possible," Ross said, adding that he would travel to North Africa to consult further with the two sides and other regional players.

Morocco's annexation of the territory sparked a war between its forces and Algerian-backed Polisario guerrillas. The two sides agreed to a ceasefire in 1991 but the UN-sponsored talks on Western Sahara's future have since made no headway.

Rabat has pledged to grant Western Sahara widespread autonomy but rules out independence.

The Polisario Front, with the support of Algiers, wants a referendum on self-determination, with independence as one of the options.


Agencies

Last Mod: 12 Şubat 2010, 14:40
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