Bourita and Guterres discussed COVID-19, Western Sahara, and other subjects of international cooperation on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly
Rabat – Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita spoke today with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres about several key points of cooperation between Morocco and the UN, from sustainable development to the fight against terrorism to the crisis in Libya to the Western Sahara conflict.
The two dignitaries met on the sidelines of the high-level debate of the United Nations General Assembly, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Bourita and Guterres commended each other on the work of their respective entities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Climate action and international peacekeeping efforts were also points of discussion.
The two officials discussed developments regarding Western Sahara, where Morocco and the UN enjoy cooperation in the aim to find a mutually acceptable, lasting solution based on a political process.
Their discussion came nearly a month before a UN Security Council vote on extending the mandate of the peacekeeping mission, MINURSO.
The one-year mandate of the mission will see its end on October 30. It remains to be seen whether the Security Council will vote for a twelve-month extension or six months.
Beyond the Western Sahara issue, Foreign Minister Bourita and the top UN official also discussed Morocco’s diplomatic efforts regarding regional issues in the Sahel and across Africa, as well as in the Libyan crisis.
The UN is among several international bodies that have lauded Morocco’s dialogue initiative, convening high level delegations of the parties to Libya’s conflict for productive discussion.
Morocco hosted the dialogue in the city of Bouzika between September 6-10.
The discussions sought to preserve the August 20 ceasefire and help the two parties take the first steps towards a resolution to the crisis.
Following the talks, Libya’s High Council of State and the Tobruk Parliament issued a joint statement to thank Morocco and King Mohammed VI for the initiative.
The delegations also announced the adoption of a “comprehensive agreement” after the talks.
Anadolu Agency has since reported that Morocco will host a new round of talks on Sunday, September 27.
“The members of the dialogue committee will discuss, during the negotiations, mechanisms for choosing who will assume leading positions,” wrote Anadolu Agency.
The international community, including the EU, the Arab League, and the UN, are among several international actors to commend Morocco’s facilitation of dialogue and cooperation to resolve the crisis.