GENEVA – Morocco’s foreign minister, the chief diplomats of Algeria and Mauritania, as well as representatives the pro-Sahrawi Polisario Front, conducted on Thursday a second day of talks in Geneva on the status of the North African disputed territory of Western Sahara.
Morocco and the Polisario Front – an organization which has declared its representation of the ingenious people of Western Sahara and the area’s independence – have been locked in conflict over the mineral-rich region ever since Spain’s 1975 withdrawal from its former overseas province, though this is the first time since 2012 that both sides have attended peace talks.
After finishing the second and last day of the round table in Geneva, the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Horst Köhler, said to the press that both sides had assured him that they were willing to continue participating in future talks.
Köhler stressed that all participants expressed interest in creating an environment for the economic growth of the territory.
Western Sahara has been claimed by Morocco since 1957, while the Polisario Front proclaimed Western Sahara’s independence as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in February 1976, which precipitated the ongoing conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front.