Kohler suggests direct, unconditional negotiations in 2018

New York, March 24, 2018 (SPS) -Speaking to the Security Council, the United Nations Envoy for Western Sahara Horst Kohler on Wednesday stressed that his mediation targeted direct and unconditional negotiations between the Polisario Front and Morocco in 2018.

According to concurring sources, Kohler briefed the Security Council on his mediation, namely holding negotiations this year, although he recognized that talks “are not an end in itself” since they require the “good will” of parties to conflict and their commitment to engaging in negotiations “without preconditions.”

The UN envoy also expressed willingness to pursue broadened talks and meet Security Council members, according to information leaked after the briefing.

Kohler, to whom the Security Council expressed support, said that “he will keep the same momentum,” stressing that his approach aimed at broadening the mediation scope.

The German mediator is willing to continue his mediation mission despite Morocco’s attempts to undermine his efforts. However, he stressed that the settlement of this conflict is the exclusive responsibility of the Security Council, where he fully supported by France.

On Wednesday, France attempted to prevent the Security Council from underlining the importance of the other parties with whom Kohler has been holding since January, namely the conflicting parties, neighbouring countries, the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU).

However, the final statement, read to the press by Security Council Chairman Jan Gustaaf Van Oosterom, did not mention this reference.

"The Security Council welcomes the personal envoy's presentation on his recent bilateral meetings with the conflicting parties and neighboring countries," the Security Council said in a statement released after the meeting. (SPS)

062/SPS/APS