Western Sahara: Status quo is “unsustainable,” says Christopher Ross

New York (United Nations) Nov13,2012(SPS) - UN personal envoy for Western Sahara Christopher Ross said Monday in Madrid (Spain) that the status quo in Western Sahara final status is “unsustainable” and “dangerous."
In a press statement released following his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Spain in Madrid, the Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, cautioned that the crisis had lasted “far too long” and called any acceptance of the status quo a “serious miscalculation.”
“I am urging the parties to move swiftly into serious negotiations, and I am asking key members of the international community to use their influence to encourage the parties to do so,” Mr. Ross stated, adding that in a region in transition, a conflict such as the one in the Western Sahara “cannot be allowed to stand still.”
Mr. Ross pointed out that in this dangerously precarious environment, Western Sahara's festering hostilities risked sparking renewed violence which would be “tragic for the people of Western Sahara and for North Africa as a whole.”
According to the UN official's statement, Spanish officials were “enthusiastic” to contribute to the mediation efforts and Mr. Ross noted that he had “benefited greatly” from the exchange with his Spanish interlocutors.
The UN envoy will make stops in Paris, Washington, D.C., London and Moscow where he plans to address the issue with his counterparts in those Western capitals before returning to North Africa.
“The conflict must be resolved,” Mr. Ross said, “and I believe that it can be resolved if there is a will to engage in real dialogue and compromise to find a solution that is honourable for all.”(SPS)


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