The U.N. secretary-general’s envoy for Western Sahara is meeting with foreign ministers from Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania plus leaders of the Polisario Front over the future of the Morocco-annexed territory.
U.N. envoy Horst Koehler, a former German president, hosted a “round-table” discussion among the attendees at the first U.N.-hosted talks on the territory in six years, after meeting with them bilaterally earlier Wednesday.
The U.N. says the two-day meeting is a first step toward a renewed negotiations process aiming to “provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.”
Morocco annexed the former Spanish colony in 1975 and fought the pro-independence Polisario Front until a U.N.-brokered cease-fire in 1991. Morocco has proposed wide-ranging autonomy for Western Sahara, while the Polisario Front wants a referendum on the territory’s future.