Sahara: Horst Köhler’s Briefs Security Council

UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy Horst Köhler Tuesday briefed the Security Council on the latest developments of the Sahara issue.

The UN mediator informed the fifteen members of the Council of the results of the first roundtable held last December in Geneva, with the participation of the four stakeholders in the Sahara conflict (Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the Polisario).

He also told the Security Council that he is planning to hold, in the course of February, separate meetings with these four parties to discuss the holding of a new roundtable probably next March.

This was confirmed to the press by several ambassadors after the meeting held at the UN headquarters in New York.

The former German President Horst Köhler also confirmed in a statement to the media the holding of a new roundtable. “We are preparing the next round and we expect a good meeting in March,” he said.

For his part, the French ambassador to the UN, François Delattre said that as put by Köhler “the context remains favorable” for the resumption of talks. Köhler feels there is “a real momentum” and “he has a vision, and the confidence of all delegations around the table. So, we have a good environment,” the French diplomat said.

He added that the Tuesday meeting was marked by “unanimous support for the efforts of the Personal Envoy”.

For his part, Germany’s Ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen, said Köhler remains “very committed” to the issue and reiterated to the Security Council his determination to reach a realistic, practical and sustainable solution to the Sahara issue.

Heusgen stressed that the settlement of this conflict would be positive “for the inhabitants of the region, because the economic potential of the Maghreb is immense, but unfortunately it is not exploited today because of this conflict”, assuring that “Germany remains very favorable” to such an outcome.