The United Nations roundtable talks over the Western Sahara conflict have kicked off with the participation of Morocco, Algeria, the Polisario and Mauritania.
Rabat – Morocco’s delegation is led by Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita. Morocco’s delegation arrived at the Palace of Nations Geneva at 2:30 p.m on December 5.
The delegation also includes Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the UN Omar Hilale and President of the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region Sidi Hamdi Ould Errachid, and President of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region Ynja Khattat.
Analysts say the participation of Ynja and Ould Errachid strengthen the legitimate representation of Sahrawis.
Fatima Adli, a member of the Smara municipal council is also on the list of Morocco’s delegation.
Adli has been representing her region at various national and international symposiums, to show development experienced in the region and the involvement of Saharawi women in the management of the region.
In September 2011, she was part of the Moroccan delegation sent to the UN headquarters in New York to defend the Morocco’s positions during the work of the 4th Commission.
Ould Errachid is also the deputy mayor of the city of Laayoune. He is one of the members of the Reguibat tribe, which represented a quarter of the Sahrawi population according to the Spanish census of 1974.
Yenja, who is a former member of the Polisario Front, returned to Morocco in the mid-1990s.
Yenja has accompanyied several Moroccan officials during their official trips to Brussels to defend the EU-Morocco agriculture and fisheries agreement. He has repeatedly brushed aside Polisario’s allegations that Morocco exploits the natural resources of Western Sahara, claims which are amplified by Polisario and Algerian media.
The Algerian delegation is led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdelkader Messahel, while Mauritania’s delegation includes Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, among other representatives.
The separatist group will be represented by the self-proclaimed president of Parliament Khatri Addouh, and M’Hammad Khaddad, former chief of military security.
A day before the UN meeting, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed all the parties to the conflict, urging them to engage in the UN discussion without preconditions and in a good faith.