Rabat – The secretary of state to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mounia Boucetta, said that the United Nations roundtable talks on Western Sahara, set to begin tomorrow, will be an opportunity to settle the issue of confidence-building measures.
On Monday, Boucetta emphasized that Morocco’s autonomy plan proposal remains the only realistic solution to the conflict.
Recalling the recently adopted UN Resolution 2440, Boucetta said that the Security Council’s decision marks a significant step forward, especially because it stressed the need to open a new chapter in the UN-led political process.
In her address made at the House of Representatives on Monday, Boucetta said that the resolution is important because it “recognizes Algeria’s central role as a party invited to the Geneva roundtable.”
Boucetta said that the resolution also dealt “a hard blow to the myth of the liberated territories.”
The Security Council voted on October 31 in favor of the resolution, which warned Polisario to adhere to its commitments in Western Sahara, its buffer zones, and east of Morocco’s defense berm.
Claimed as liberated zones by the front, the resolution listed Bir Lahlou and Tifariti as restricted zones, saying Polisario should not move its administrative offices to them and should respect its commitments to the UN.
The UN talks in Geneva will convene tomorrow and Thursday, December 5-6, at the request of the personal envoy of the UN Secretary-General, Horst Kohler.
Morocco’s delegation at the Geneva talks will evaluate Algeria’s readiness to accept its role in the conflict without preconditions. Algeria has denied its role in the Western Sahara conflict, claiming itself as an “observer” to the conflict.
The UN’s resolution sent a clear message when it included Algeria with Morocco, Mauritania, and the Polisario Front in its instruction that the parties should “work constructively” to find an agreed upon and mutually acceptable solution to the conflict.
Moroccan officials have also affirmed that the roundtable is far from being part of negotiations. The roundtable will instead serve as an initial step toward future negotiations.
The roundtable’s agenda will be a general discussion about the recent developments of the Western Sahara dossier and a review of Kohler’s visit to the region in June.
Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita will lead the Moroccan delegation, which includes Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Omar Hilale, President of the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region Sidi Hamdi Ould Errachid, and President of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region Ynja Khattat.
The delegation also includes Fatima Adli, a member of the Smara municipal council.