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Sahara Disputed Parties to Hold Second Round Table

Sahara Disputed Parties to Hold Second Round Table

Friday, 7 December, 2018 - 13:00
Koehler speaks during a press conference. (AFP)
Casablanca - Lahsen Muqnea
Representatives from Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and Polisario agreed to hold a second round table on the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara in the first quarter of 2019.

The discussions will be supervised by UN Secretary General's Personal Envoy to the Sahara Horst Koehler and aims at laying out the road map for negotiations to end the 43-year-old conflict.

Following the conclusion of Geneva meeting, Koehler told a press conference that he was pleased with the commitment of all parties to continue the talks.

"My conviction remains that a peaceful solution to this conflict is possible," he said in prepared remarks.

"I look forward to inviting the delegations to a second round table meeting in the first quarter of 2019."

"From our discussions, it is clear to me that nobody wins from maintaining the status quo, and it is my firm belief that it lies in the interest of all to resolve this conflict," he said.

In a statement read to journalists, Koehler affirmed that the meeting took place in a calm and positive atmosphere that was characterized by the serious and effective participation of all parties.

He said the next meeting would be organized in a way the four parties would equally participate despite in their status.

“They will all be effective parties instead of parties and observers.”

Koehler refused to answer journalists' questions.

His statement explained that this round table meeting comes in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolution 2440, which stressed the importance of working to reach a realistic, practical and lasting political solution on a consensual basis.

The four parties discussed during the two-day talks in Geneva opportunities and challenges of regional integration, according to the statement.

The meeting was characterized by the participation of elected members of Morocco’s southern Saharan provinces. It included the Moroccan delegation along with the country’s foreign minister and permanent representative to the UN.

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