Morocco’s foreign minister Nasser Bourita will chair Morocco’s delegation to the UN roundtable on Western Sahara in Geneva.
Rabat – In the lead up to next week’s talks, the four parties are mobilizing their delegations to take part in the meeting, an initial step toward an agreed upon solution to the conflict.
The pan-African magazine Jeune Afrique reported that Morocco’s delegation will include the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region President Khattat Yanja and and the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region President Hamdi Ould Errachid.
The UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy for Western Sahara, Horst Kohler, invited Morocco, Algeria, the Polisario and Mauritania to a UN roundtable of talks in Geneva.
The UN wants the meeting to serve as an initial step toward a more robust move in preparation to re-launch negotiations to find a mutually acceptable political solution to the conflict.
Algeria, which claims itself an observer to the conflict, will be represented by Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdelkader Messahel, his adviser Abdallah Baali, and Algeria’s ambassador to the UN Sabri Boukadoum.
While Algeria denies its responsibility in the conflict, UN Resolution 2440 called on it as well as the other parties to “work constructively with the Personal Envoy, in the spirit of compromise, throughout the duration of this process to ensure a successful outcome.”
Analysts say the resolution represented a diplomatic gain for Morocco because it included Algeria, calling it a neighboring country to the conflict.
Algeria still calls itself an observer despite the UN’s clear message in Resolution 2440, adopted on October 31.
Mauritania’s delegation, which will take part in the Geneva roundtable of talks, will include Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. The separatist group will be represented by the self-proclaimed president of Parliament Khatri Addouh, and M’Hammad Khaddad, former chief of military security.
The meeting, the first of its kind since 2012, will oversee the determination of the parties to engage in future negotiations.
In October, Bourita said that Morocco would attend the roundtable to remind the participants of Morocco’s firm conditions.
Morocco is firm that it will accept no solution other than its autonomy plan.
The Moroccan official also said that Algeria needs to contribute to finding a solution to the conflict, saying it is the “one which created the problem.”
King Mohammed VI called for more dialogue between Morocco and Algeria to break tension and the stalemate resulting from frozen diplomatic ties.
The King’s offer was echoed by Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs during a meeting between Bourita and Algeria’s ambassador to Rabat on Monday
In the meeting, Bourita told the Algerian diplomat that Morocco wants to know the official response of Algeria regarding Morocco’s dialogue offer.