Sahara : The US and the Security Council support the holding of direct negotiations

The Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Horst Köhler, has managed to convince the Security Council into relaunching direct negotiations, which has been stalled since 2008. The achievement is carried out thanks to the Trump administration.

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and US President Donald Trump./Ph. DR

The security Council resolution 2414, adopted in April, called the parties involved in the territorial conflict to consider relaunching direct negotiations. The document stressed the «importance of a renewed commitment by the parties to advancing the political process in preparation for a fifth round of negotiations».

Resolution 2440, made public on October the 31st, came to highlight the same objective launched by the above-mentioned document. The Security Council welcomed the «engagement of the parties and neighboring states with him (Horst Köhler) in his efforts to facilitate direct negotiations».

The recommendations published through resolution 2440 are considered as a victory for the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara. The German diplomat has been determined to favor discussions and worked for more than a year so that world powers adopt that.

The Trump administration

On Wednesday, the United States, the pen holder which initiates and chairs the informal drafting process of the decisions of the Security Council, openly insisted that the parties attend a round-table. Jonathan R. Cohen, the United States Deputy Representative to the United Nations, referred to the same proposal three time in his latest intervention.

Cohen, «welcomed the adoption, saying his delegation is encouraged by the progress made in the last six months towards the resumption of talks on Western Sahara». «That meeting must be the beginning of a full process of negotiation towards a lasting political solution to the dispute over Western Sahara», he said as quoted by the UN.

«MINURSO’s presence must be demonstrated to be pushing a resolution of the Western Sahara question, he said, emphasizing that all peacekeeping missions must support political solutions and mandates must be renewed accordingly».

Jonathan R. Cohen, the United States Deputy Representative to the United Nations

For the record, Morocco has rejected for months to be part of another version of the Manhasset negotiations, a series of talks that took place in four rounds in 2007-2008 at Manhasset, New York, between Morocco and the Polisario.

«We want real negotiations, not with puppets, but with the true leaders of the conflict over the Moroccan Sahara», explained Morocco's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Omar Hilale, to French-language online newspaper Medias24, after the adoption of resolution 2414 in April.

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