UN call for ‘productive and good will’ negotiations

Manhasset (New York), Aug.10- The United Nations on Friday called on the protagonists at the second round of UN-led negotiations on the Sahara to enter into productive negotiations and maintain the good atmosphere that has prevailed during the first round of these talks.
Addressing the delegations of Morocco, the Polisario, Algeria and Mauritania at the opening of these negotiations in Manhasset (outskirts of New York), U.N. Secretary General's Personal Envoy to the Sahara and facilitator of these negotiations, Peter Van Walsum hoped the parties, attending this meeting, "will keep the same atmosphere that has prevailed during the first round" adding that the Security Council expects that the parties engage in "productive" negotiations and in "good faith".

The first round of Manhasset talks was held on June 18-19 in accordance with the UNSC Resolution 1754 of April 30, which called on the parties to "enter into negotiations without preconditions and in good faith," with a view to "achieving a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution."

    A senior Moroccan delegation takes part in these talks aimed at putting an end to the 32 year-old conflict over the former Spanish colony that was ceded by Spain to the North African country in 1975 under the Madrid Accords. A year later, the separatist movement Polisario, backed by Morocco's eastern neighbor, Algeria, started claiming independence of the territory.

    The Moroccan delegation includes Interior Minister Chakib Benmoussa, Deputy Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri, chairman of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS), Khalihenna Ould Errachid, head of Morocco's intelligence (DGED) Yassine Mansouri, super governor of the province of Oued Dahab, Mohamed Saleh Tamek and CORCAS Secretary General Maoulainine Khallihenna, along with other top-level government officials from the southern provinces.