Parties to Western Sahara conflict to continue informal talks in early June: UN

07:34, May 27, 2011      

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Delegations from Morocco, the Frente Polisario, Algeria and Mauritania are expected to meet in New York's Long Island for the next round of informal talks on the Western Sahara conflict in early June, a UN spokesperson told reporters in the United Nations on Thursday.

The parties to the conflict will gather for a seventh round of informal talks from June 5 to 7 in Greentree, Long Island, UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky said at a daily press briefing.

"This meeting will take place at the invitation of the personal envoy of the secretary-general for Western Sahara, Mr. Christopher Ross, within the mandate provided by the UN Security Council for UN-led negotiations," Nesirky said.

As previously agreed, the parties will "further deepen their discussion of their respective proposals on a settlement and will also examine possible measures of conciliation and the avoidance of acts of provocation," Nesirky noted.

"They will also have the opportunity to review the status of confidence-building measures, engage in a preliminary examination of the specific topic of demining, and identify additional innovative approaches and specific topics for future discussion," he added.

In April a resolution was adopted by the UN Security Council, which recognizes the importance of protecting human rights in Western Sahara, but stopped short of creating a human rights enforcement mechanism to be used by the UN mission there.

The resolution stressed the importance of "encouraging the parties to work with the international community to develop and implement independent and credible measures to ensure full respect for human rights, bearing in mind their relevant obligations under international law."

The parties to the conflict -- Morocco, which has had control of Western Sahara since the 1970s, and the Polisario Front, which favors independence of the territory -- have been trying to negotiate a solution in UN-led talks for several years.

The parties to the conflict last met for informal talks in Malta in March.

Source: Xinhua
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