Western Sahara: UN Security Council calls for resumption of Polisario-Morocco talks


The UN Security Council on Tuesday called for the resumption of talks between the Polisario Front and Morocco, which should lead to the holding of self-determination referendum for the Sahrawi people.

The "members of the Security Council have underlined the importance of relaunching direct talks (between the Polisario Front and Morocco) to reach a political solution guaranteeing self-determination for Western Sahara people," said President of the Security Council Koro Bessho.

The representative of Japan, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council, was hosting a press conference after the briefing of Hervé Ladsous, Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations on MINURSO.

Questioned whether the Council has examined the letter sent Friday by Polisario Front and in which the Sahrawi side urged it to adopt urgent approach for the resumption of talks, Bessho said that the "members (of this UN body)" have stressed the importance of relaunching this political process."

The Council members agreed on the need to resume discussions and consultations for in a bid to reach solution which provides for Sahrawi people self-determination, he added.

The Polisario Front has denounced in a letter, the blockades set by Morocco to the UN process, hindering the holding of a fifth round of negotiations, though planned by the Resolution 2285 (2016), extending the mandate of MINURSO.

In his statement after the meeting, held behind doors and attended by Kim Bolduc, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to

Western Sahara, Bessho said the UN body was informed of the condition of the mission return to activity, in accordance with this resolution.

The "Council expressed the wish that Minurso return to full functionality as soon as possible," he said.

The observation made by UN General Secretariat and Security Council stressed that "the mission has not yet reached full functionality," he added.

The discussions during the meeting revolved around the necessary staff for the operation of MINURSO, according to Bessho who assured that the

Security Council would continue to follow up this question.

However, no date has been set for the return of other civilian personnel groups of MINURSO, he said. So far, only 25 out of 85 civilian members of the mission have returned to their posts in Al-Ayun.
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