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Sahara : Horst Köhler plans to bring the two parties together before the end of 2018

As planned, the UN Security Council held a meeting, Wednesday, on the Western Sahara conflict. Before attending the session, the UN personal envoy Horst Köhler held talks with the National Security Advisor of the United States John Bolton.

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The Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara Horst Köhler./Ph. DR

The United Nations Security Council held on Wednesday, 8th of August, as planned, a meeting on the Sahara. The Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara Horst Köhler is looking forward to reuniting Morocco and Polisario before the end of this year, says President of the Security Council, British ambassador Jonathan Allen. Speaking to media, however, the mediator did not reveal his plans for future negotiations between the two conflicted parties.

Resolution 2414, adopted in April, emphasized «the importance of a renewed commitment by the parties to advancing the political process in preparation for a fifth round of negotiations», referring to the Manhasset negotiations held in 2012 in the United States.

In this regard, Allen said that the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara is expected to send invitations to the parties in question in September to relaunch talks.

In October, the Security Council will have to discuss the Western Sahara issue again. And it is expected to decide, once again, on extension of the MINURSO’s mandate for another six months.

Meeting Donald Trump's National Security Advisor

Horst Köhler plans to hold «talks with all parties involved» in the upcoming weeks, the British ambassador added. A process that the Germany’s former president started yesterday when meeting John Robert Bolton, the National Security Advisor of the United States.

Indeed, before briefing members of the Security Council about his last tour to Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Tindouf camps, Horst Köhler held a meeting with senior officials from Donald Trump’s administration. «The UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy to Western Sahara met John Bolton, the UN President’s National Security Advisor. He also spoke to other American senior officials», a well-informed source told Yabiladi on Wednesday.

These meetings lasted longer than expected. Köhler, reportedly, wants to convince American officials of supporting his project to relaunch the negotiations' process between Morocco and the Polisario, which was blocked since 2012.  

On the 29th of April, and after the UN Security Council's members voted for resolution 2414, the United States representatives recalled John Bolton’s position on the territorial dispute.

Bolton had indeed refused the idea of automatically renewing the MINURSO’s mandate, especially when talks are not evolving.

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