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Morocco and the Polisario Front will return to the dialogue in December in Geneva

Representatives of the Polisario Front and Morocco will sit on the 5th and 6th of December in Geneva at a round table sponsored by the UN will also participate in Algeria and Mauritania as observer countries. The latest talks between Morocco and the Polisario Front were held in Manhaset (united States) six years ago, in march of 2012.

MORE INFORMATION The Sahara, second to last in front of the crisis with Iran Ahmed Bukhari, the reference diplomat of the saharawi cause Mohamed VI called on the secretary of the UN to stop “provocations” of the Polisario Front

the arrival of The current UN secretary-general, António Guterres, and his envoy to the Sahara, Horst Köhler, gave a new impulse to a situation in which neither of the parties has moved its position. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) calls for the holding of a referendum of self-determination while Rabat rejected that option and is only willing to grant more autonomy to what it considers to be its “southern Provinces”.

The 31st of October, the Security Council extended by six months, until next April, the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (Minurso). The idea of shortening the term of the mission, who had been renewing every year until last April, aims to push the parties to engage in negotiations. The resolution was approved at the highest decision-making body of the UN by 12 votes in favour and abstentions from Russia, Bolivia and Ethiopia. The main driver of shortening the term of renewal in six months is the united States, a country that has been proposed to end the status quo of the conflict. For its part, Morocco as its primary advocate in the Security Council, France, were in favor of extending the renewal to a year.

however, every party saw something positive in the resolution of the United Nations. The ambassador of Morocco to the UN, Omar Hilale, stressed in local media that, for the first time a Security Council resolution has been dedicated to Algeria as the “main part of the Jokerbet political process”. Morocco has always sought to include Algeria in the negotiations on the Western Sahara and the Polisario Front always saw that goal an attempt to subtract legitimacy to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

Sidi Omar, representative of the Polisario Front to the UN said in a telephone conversation from Washington: “we do Not expect and do not think you are leaving some concrete agreement next December in Geneva. But if we are able to agree on a calendar for the next meeting would already be an achievement in itself. That will depend on the themes and the calendar, which will propose the Personal Envoy, Horst Köhler”.

Omar points out that the German Köhler has been involved very actively for undertaking negotiations. “Köhler we sent letters of invitation to the roundtable in September. On October 2, accepted Morocco and the Polisario Front did the next day. After they accepted also the two neighbouring countries”.

The 9th of November, the king Mohamed VI issued a message of dialogue to Algeria which surprised many moroccans. “Morocco is ready for a direct dialogue and sincere with sister Algeria, to overcome the discrepancies of temporal and objective, which obstruct the development of relations between the two countries,” said the monarch, in his speech on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the Green March, the Western Sahara was in the hands of Morocco.

The invitation he never even got official response until yesterday by the algerian State. And the response was pretty skeptical. The algerian ministry of Foreign Affairs of algeria issued a statement in which it appealed to the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) to convene as soon as possible a meeting of ministers of Foreign Affairs to proceed with the reconstruction of this organism. The UMA is virtually obsolete since in 1989 the heads of State of Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and Mauritania, signed up his firm to found an entity that had as its goal the free movement of capital, goods and people between the partner countries.

"The response of Algeria," says a source from the Polisario Front, "in reality it comes to tell you to Morocco: 'If you really want to dialogue, let's do it seriously and with all the countries of the region maghreb sitting at the table."

The Western Sahara was a Spanish colony until 1976 and retired from the Spanish Army. Spain ceded a year before the administration of the territory to Morocco and Mauritania, without counting with the Polisario Front, the armed movement that he founded in 1976 the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. That same year, tens of thousands of sahrawis are exiled in camps near the town on the algerian Tindouf. Since then, the Polisario went to war with Mauritania, and Morocco. Mauritania signed peace in 1979, and with Morocco ceasefire in 1991, date in which was created the Minurso.

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