Morocco World News
Morocco World News
New York, March 10, 2012
The ninth round of informal talks on Sahara issue, kicks off on Sunday in Green Tree property in the suburbs of New York with the participation of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario. The 9th round of informal talks on the Sahara is held at the invitation of UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Christopher Ross. The Moroccan delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Saad Dine El Otmani.
Over the past two years, Morocco and the Polisario have held 8 informal rounds of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy, Christopher Ross. The last round of negotiations was held last July in New York. All of these negotiations have ended without any progress.
As during the previous informal talks, no much progress can be expected from this meeting, as the two parties continue to have divergent views on the appropriate approach to follow in order to put an end to the conflict. While for Morocco the Autonomy Plan, presented in 2007, constitutes a viable and serious basis for finding a mutually acceptable solution in line with the respect of its territorial integrity, for the Polisario Front, the option of independence through a referendum of self-determination has also to be put on the table.
At the end of this three-day long informal talks, this is the statement that is most likely to be delivered by United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy, Christopher Ross, “the parties continued to deepen their discussions on the two proposals, including the issue of the electoral corps, mechanisms for self-determination and the forms of guarantees”.
However as in the seven previous informal talks, “each party continued to reject the proposal of the other as a sole basis for future negotiation.”
“The parties continued their discussions on the new ideas put forward by the Secretary-General in paragraph 120 of his report (S/2011/249) and endorsed by the Security Council.”
Many analysts voice their concern that the current informal negotiations over the future of the Sahara are leading nowhere and that the Security Council ought to adopt a new approach in order to put an end to this long-lasting dispute.
Over the past decade, many observers have stated that an independent Saharawi State cannot be envisaged as a “realistic option”. This was the message conveyed by the spokesman of the American Department of State on April 30th 2008 before the UN Security Council, on the occasion of the vote of resolution S/RES/1813. Similarly, in an interview given to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, the former Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Sahara, Peter Walsum, stated that the establishment of a Sahrawi State is not an “accessible objective”.
Back in 2000, in his report to the Security Council on the Situation in the Sahara (S/2000/461) Kofi Annan, then Secretary General of the United Nations, stated that it is essential that the parties be “prepared to consider other ways of achieving an early, durable and agreed resolution” over their dispute over the Sahara.