Geneva: A new round table on the Sahara early 2019

At the end of the round table on Western Sahara organized Wednesday and Thursday in Geneva, the personal envoy of the UN Secretary General, Horst Köhler invited the participating parties to a new similar meeting in the first quarter of 2019.

During a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, the UN mediator invited the participating parties, namely Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario to a new round table during the first quarter of 2019.

The parties have agreed to find a consensual settlement to the Sahara conflict, he said.

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita on his part described as “positive” the atmosphere in which this round table took place”.

He noted however that “more is needed to reach a pragmatic, realistic and enduring settlement to this issue.”

Bourita announced that Morocco has accepted to participate in a similar second meeting, provided that it is “well prepared”.

During their meeting in Geneva, the four delegations assessed the recent developments in the Sahara issue, discussed regional issues and examined the next steps in the UN-led process for a political settlement of this territorial dispute.

All participating delegations recognized that cooperation and regional integration, not confrontation, were the best way to address the many important challenges the region is facing.

They also admitted that a solution to the Sahara conflict would be an important contribution to improving the lives of the peoples of the region.

The ultimate goal is “to create an environment in the region that is conducive to strong economic growth, job creation and better security”, explained Mr. Köhler.

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