Rabat – A peaceful solution to the conflict in Western Sahara is “possible,” the UN special envoy for the Sahara said on Thursday after a two-day round table between the parties in Geneva, the first talks since 2012.
The former German president Horst Kohler, who has been in charge of the issue since 2017, has also announced that he intends to hold a new meeting in the same format in the first quarter of 2019.
Kohler told reporters that he was looking forward to inviting delegations to the second round table.
The UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy for the Sahara had invited delegations from Morocco, Algeria, Polisario and Mauritania to participate in a round table on December 5 and 6 in Geneva, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2440.
Hailed by the UN as a first step towards a renewed process of negotiations aimed at reaching a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable solution, the Geneva meeting was held in an atmosphere of serious engagement and mutual respect, the UN envoy noted.
Rabat, whose delegation in Geneva was led by foreign minister Nasser Bourita, rejects any solution other than autonomy under its sovereignty, citing the need to preserve regional stability.
The last round of direct negotiations launched by the UN in March 2007 stalled due to disagreements between Morocco and Polisario.