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Sahara : Horst Köhler carries out consultations despite Morocco’s refusal

While Nasser Bourita denied Köhler’s visit to Rabat and the deployment of a Moroccan delegation to Berlin, the German mediator continues with his consultations.

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UN Sahara Envoy Horst Köhler./Ph. DR

As expected, Horst Köhler has invited Mauritania to attend discussions on the Western Sahara conflict in Berlin, Germany. A large delegation from the southern neighbor, led by Foreign Minister Isselkou Ould Ahmed Izidbih, has been in the German capital since Wednesday to hold talks with the UN mediator.

In addition to that, Nouakchott has also sent Mohamed Lemine Ould Dadde, Advisor to the President and Jaroullah Inallah, ambassador and director of international cooperation at the ministry, said the Mauritanian News Agency.

The visit of the Mauritanian Foreign Minister to Berlin was, moreover, announced by the Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, Stéphanie Dujarric, during a press briefing in New York on January the 23rd.  In theory, the Algerian Foreign Minister, Abdelkader Messahel, is also expected to follow the steps of his Mauritanian counterpart.

Köhler meets Kofi Annan in Geneva

While waiting for an upcoming meeting with the Moroccan representatives, Horst Köhler is carrying his consultations with other international actors who have enough information on the Western Sahara conflict. For example, he traveled to Geneva where he met with the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and spoke with a senior representative from the UN Human Rights Council, said a source close to the file.  

Meanwhile, Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation told Alyaoum 24 in a statement that Köhler is not visiting Rabat and that no Moroccan delegation is attending discussions in Berlin. This declaration comes two months after Antonio Guterres presented a report on Western Sahara to the members of the Security Council, where Morocco has showed its intention of initiating talks with Köhler in Rabat, Berlin or New York.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2351 (2017), «the Council called on the parties to the Western Sahara conflict to resume negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General without preconditions and in good faith, in order to facilitate a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution».

On Thursday, the Minister of Relations with Parliament, and the government spokesman, Mustapha El Khali, said during a press briefing that Morocco is not having direct negotiations in this regard.

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