Home Morocco Rumors of Direct Talks with Polisario Are False: Moroccan Govenment Spokesman

Rumors of Direct Talks with Polisario Are False: Moroccan Govenment Spokesman

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Morocco's Government Spokesman Mustapha El Khalfi

Rabat – The Moroccan government has officially denied rumors that Morocco held direct negotiations with the Polisario Front. The Moroccan government spokesperson, Mustapha El Khalfi, further reaffirmed on Thursday that no meetings between the two parties to the Western Sahara conflict are planned.

In a press briefing held on Thursday in Rabat following a cabinet meeting, El Khalfi denied “categorically” the rumors reported by news outlets affiliated to the separatist group. Earlier this week, several of these news outlets reported on initial direct talks between Moroccan and Polisario representatives in Berlin in the presence of the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Horst Kohler.

El Khalfi added that these sources claiming knowledge about “this kind of issue are desperately trying to hide the Polisario Front’s recent repeated failures at all levels.”

While the front is desperate to hold talks over the Western Sahara conflict, Morocco has made its position regarding the idea of negotiations clear after Polisario’s repeated illegal maneuvers in the buffer zone of Guerguerat.

“There are absolutely no direct talks [between Morocco and Polisario] and nothing is planned in this regard,” said El Khalfi, who was quoted by Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).

The government spokesman made a similar statement on January 26, reaffirming that Morocco has made its position clear concerning direct or indirect meetings with the separatist group, refusing any meeting following their illegal operations in Guerguerat.

In January, Kohler sent an invitation to Morocco, Polisario and the other parties to the conflict (Algeria and Mauritania) in hopes of opening another round of negotiations in Berlin, Germany.

Kohler’s proposal was welcomed by the separatist group, while the Moroccan government was reluctant to meet with Polisario leadership following the group’s provocative in the region.

Morocco and the Polisario last met in January 2008 in New York, when a series of talks occurred, dubbed “the Manhasset negotiations.”
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