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Polisario Front: Morocco rejects neutrality regarding UN envoy and hampers others efforts

Polisario Front confirmed that Morocco has so far obstructed the appointment of a new UN Secretary-General personal envoy for Western Sahara and rejects any candidate from specific countries for fear of their neutrality, after they turned the mediation efforts of former representatives into impossible tasks that led him to resign.

This came in a press release issued by the Polisario Front representation at the United Nations, on Friday, in response to reports relayed by several media outlets, quoting the French News Agency about what is claimed to be the position of the Polisario on a proposal made by the Secretary-General of the United Nations recently regarding his personal envoy to Western Sahara.

The representative affirmed that “the Kingdom of Morocco is the one that has so far obstructed the appointment of a new UN Secretary-General personal envoy for Western Sahara, and even rejects any candidate from countries known for their neutrality,” such as “Scandinavia, Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands,” just as it had previously led former representatives to resign.

The press release considered that “the appointment of a personal envoy, who must meet the criteria of impartiality, independence and competence and perform his mission with integrity, is not an end in itself, but rather a means to facilitate the peace process and push it forward towards achieving its ultimate goal, which is the practice of the Sahrawi people of their inalienable rights And non-negotiable self-determination and independence.”

The Polisario Front stressed the need to set the record straight and confirm facts about the UN personal envoy. “So far, four personal envoys and fifteen special representatives of the Secretary-General of the United Nations have participated in various stages of the United Nations peace process in Western Sahara, but Morocco managed, in complete impunity, to turn their mediation efforts into impossible tasks through deliberate procrastination and obstruction.

In this context, the statement highlighted Morocco’s undermining of the mediation efforts made by former US Secretary of State James Baker, who was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s first personal envoy to Western Sahara in March 1997, which led to his resignation in June 2004.

The Polisario representative also raised the obstructive attitude taken by the Moroccan authorities towards Ambassador Christopher Ross (the United States) who was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy for Western Sahara in January 2009, when Moroccan authorities went so far as to declare Ambassador Ross persona non grata in May 2012 and prevent him From carrying out his mission or traveling to Western Sahara, which ultimately led to his resignation in April 2017.

“When the Secretary-General managed to appoint former German President Horst Kohler as his personal envoy for Western Sahara in August 2017, after six years of blocked direct negotiations between the two parties, the Moroccan obstruction turned President Kohler’s efforts into an impossible task and prompted him to resign in May 2019.”

In this regard, Polisario recalled the efforts undertaken by the Kingdom of Morocco that followed the failure of President Kohler’s efforts, with the aim of thwarting all subsequent efforts of the Secretary-General to appoint a new personal envoy for Western Sahara to preserve the status quo.

“To this end, the Moroccan occupying forces not only objected to several candidates for the position of Personal Envoy, but also attempted to influence the process through a set of preconditions that arbitrarily exclude citizens of a group of UN member states (including Scandinavian countries), Australia, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and others) from the list of potential candidates for the position of Personal Envoy,” added the press release.

The Polisario Front gave in its press release an example of the Moroccan occupation’s misleading behavior, saying that the Moroccan authorities did their best to thwart the efforts of the United Nations to appoint a personal envoy following the resignation of President Kohler, “Here it is now praising the commitment to the peace process, especially after the occupation state violated the ceasefire of 1991 and torpedoing the peace process on November 13, 2020”.

It considered that the deliberate procrastination and obstruction of the Moroccan occupation state clearly shows that it “does not have the political will to reach a fair and peaceful solution and that it only seeks to preserve the status quo while continuing its attempts to obtain unilaterally a specially designed personal envoy, which is totally and completely unacceptable.”

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