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Western Sahara: Guterres calls for “definitive” solution to the conflict

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on Morocco and the Polisario Front to show “a stronger interest from both sides to resolve the problem” of Western Sahara “definitively,” and “not only to maintain an endless process.”

“It is time for the parties to understand the need for dialogue and to seek a solution, not just to maintain an endless process, without hope for a solution,” Guterres said, in comments reported by news agencies.

Guterres added, “I hope that the political process will develop again,” considering that it is a “problem that has been going on for several decades in a region of the world in which we see very serious security problems, where we see terrorism proliferating in the Sahel region and increasing near the coasts, It is in everyone’s interest to solve the problem of Western Sahara once and for all.”

Guterres’ statements come at a time when the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Western Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, concluded on Wednesday his first tour to the region since his appointment last October, in light of the Polisario Front’s affirmation of its position in favor of a political solution based on a referendum for self-determination.

According to the UN settlement plan, the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) was established by Security Council Resolution 690 issued in 1991 based on settlement proposals approved by the two parties to the conflict (the Polisario Front and Morocco) on August 30, 1988, which defined a plan based on preparing for a referendum for self-determination to enable the Sahrawi people exercise their right to independence, which has not been achieved until today.

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