Guterres thanked Morocco for supporting ongoing reforms at the UN and for taking the lead in various UN peacekeeping operations.
Rabat – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has congratulated Morocco for its commitment to the UN-led process in the Western Sahara territorial dispute.
Guterres lauded the “efforts and commitment” the North African country has shown in recent months to a politically negotiated, lasting settlement.
Guterres made his comments during a meeting with Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Nasser Bourita, on the sidelines of this week UN Climate Action Summit and the ongoing UN General Assembly.
During their meeting, Bourita and Guterres spoke about peace and security concerns in the MENA region, as well as Morocco’s growing role in a range of concerns of worldwide significance.
Morocco’s state-owned news outlet MAP later reported that Guterres also “saluted” both Morocco’s commitment to UN peace-keeping missions around the world (particularly in Africa) and its noticeable and ongoing efforts towards lasting peace and a politically negotiated resolution in the longstanding Western Sahara dispute.
“Guterres thanked Morocco for supporting ongoing reforms at the UN and for taking the lead in various UN peacekeeping missions,” MAP noted.
The news comes amid speculation over stasis in the UN-led process for Western Sahara. Since the unexpected resignation of Horst Kohler as UN envoy for Western Sahara, the hope that the UN-led process had garnered in the past two years has given space to uncertainty, resurrected doubts, and ignited fears of a fall back to “business as usual.”
Five months since Kohler’s resignation, the UN has been resoundingly silent on his prospective replacement.
“The past 100 days have seen a breakdown in this [Western Sahara] matter. There is a crisis of perspective,” one expert recently told Moroccan outlet le 360.
Next month, the UNSC will again meet to discuss the fate of the UN peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara. With that on the horizon, it remains to be seen which direction the UN-led process will take in the coming months.