Security Council
UN Security Council

A two-day roundtable on Western Sahara organized in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolution 2440 on Thursday officially kicked off in an undisclosed place near Geneva.

In a media statement issued Thursday, the UN office at Geneva (UNOG) said that the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Horst Kohler, is hosting delegations from Morocco, the Frente POLISARIO, Algeria and Mauritania.

“During the meeting, which will last until tomorrow, delegations are expected to discuss elements of a solution in accordance with Security Council resolution 2440, revisit regional issues and explore trust-building measures,” UNOG said.

The Personal Envoy was cited by UNOG as saying that he hopes the meeting will also build on the positive dynamic achieved during the first roundtable, which was held last December in Geneva.

Western Sahara was partitioned between Morocco and Mauritania at the end of Spain’s colonial rule in 1976. When Mauritania, under pressure from Polisario guerrillas, abandoned all claims to its portion in August 1979, Morocco moved to occupy that sector and asserted administrative control over the whole territory.

Fighting then broke out between Morocco and the Polisario Front, which is fighting for the independence of Western Sahara. A cease-fire was signed in 1991 and in that year, the UN mission, known by its French acronym as Minurso, was deployed to monitor the cease-fire.

On the issue of Western Sahara, Algiers supports self-determination for the Sahrawi people there, while Rabat insists that Western Sahara is part of Morocco territories. Enditem

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