Sahara : For Horst Köhler a «peaceful solution to the conflict is possible»

The Geneva round table, attended by four delegations from Morocco, the Polisario, Algeria and Mauritania, was concluded on Thursday. In a press briefing, the UN envoy invited the four parties to a second round table stressing that a peaceful solution to the conflict is possible.

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UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for the Sahara, Horst Köhler./Ph. DR

A second round table on the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara will take place in the first quarter of 2019, announced a statement by the UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for the Sahara, Horst Köhler, released Thursday in Geneva.

«Delegations agreed that the Personal Envoy would invite them to a second round table in the first quarter of 2019», said the statement read by Kohler before the press.

The same source recalled that, at the invitation of Köhler, delegations from Morocco, Algeria, polisario and Mauritania took part in a first round table on December 5-6 in Geneva, in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolution 2440.

Delegations, the statement said, «reported on recent developments, tackled regional issues and discussed next steps in the political process for the Sahara».

«All delegations agreed that regional cooperation and integration, rather than confrontation, were the best way to address the many important challenges facing the region», the statement noted, adding that «all discussions took place in an atmosphere of serious commitment, openness and mutual respect».

A peaceful solution to the conflict

During a press briefing held at the end of the round table, the UN envoy Horst Köhler announced that «a peaceful solution to this conflict is possible», after Morocco and the Polisario Front took part in two days of round table discussions along with Algeria and Mauritania, reports AFP.

This first round table took place on Wednesday and Thursday at the Palace of Nations in Geneva, with the participation of a Moroccan delegation led by Nasser Bourita, minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The Moroccan delegation to this round table included Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom to the United Nations in New York, Sidi Hamdi Ould Errachid, president of the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region, Ynja Khattat, president of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region and Fatima Adli, community actor and member of Smara's municipal council.

For the record, this «round table» was based on three working sessions attended by the parties invited by Horst Köhler. On the first day of the round table, the UN spent the morning of that day meeting with the officials heading the four delegations, coming from Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Tindouf Camps.

He met with Foreign Ministers from Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania, Nasser Bourita, Abdelkader Messahel and Ismail Ould Cheikh respectively, in a hotel.

Representatives from Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario participated to another working session, on Thursday, to discuss the «opportunities and challenges of regional integration».

On Thursday afternoon, December the 6th, Horst Köhler's guests were invited to participate to a third working session devoted to the «next steps of the political process in Western Sahara», which will feature an introduction presented by the UN envoy Horst Köhler.

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