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Guterres stresses importance of relaunching peace process in Western Sahara

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said today, Friday, that it is “absolutely necessary” to re-launch the peace process in Western Sahara and appoint a special envoy for “the resumption of political dialogue,” calling on Morocco and the Polisario Front to accept the next candidate he will propose to them for this position.

Guterres stressed in a joint press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on the occasion of his visit to Madrid, that “it is absolutely necessary to appoint a special envoy to resume the political dialogue on Western Sahara.”

According to the Spanish news agency EFE, the Secretary-General stressed that the United Nations is making “great efforts so that a special envoy accepted by all parties be appointed because the situation is unsustainable and constitutes a factor of instability” in the region.

The post of the UN Special Envoy for Western Sahara has been vacant since former German President Horst Köhler resigned in May 2019 for health reasons.

At the press conference, the UN Secretary-General said, “We have already proposed 13 names, and so far, we have not obtained a consensus from both parties.”

Guterres indicated in early May that he had proposed 12 candidates over two years and urged the two parties to the conflict in Western Sahara, namely the Polisario Front and Morocco to agree on an envoy.

Diplomatic sources at the United Nations confirmed that the proposal of the former UN Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, was approved by the Polisario Front, but was rejected by Rabat.

The Sahrawis hold Morocco responsible for obstructing the appointment of a personal envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Western Sahara to maintain the state of political stalemate and demand the United Nations to identify the “obstructing” party to this effort to expose it to international public opinion.

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