Security Council resolution, "major victory" to put back political process on rails

Algiers, May 1, 2017 (SPS) -Sahrawi coordinator with the United Nations Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) M'hamed Khedad affirmed Monday that the adoption by the Security Council of a resolution extending the mandate of the Minurso and calling for negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario Front without prior conditions, is was a "great victory" for the Sahrawi cause, and put back political process ensuring the right of Sahrawi people to self-determination. 

During a press conference held at the embassy of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in Algiers, Khedad said "the adoption by the Security Council on last Friday of the resolution 2351 (2017) proved the willingness to resolve the conflict blocked by the Moroccan occupier since March 2012, refused to pursue direct negotiations with the Polisario Front and relaunch discussions with a view to finding a solution ensuring self-determination of Western Sahara."  

"This resolution puts back the political process on rails after it was blocked by Morocco since March 2012. The Secretary General of the UN and the Security Council called for giving a new impetus to negotiations," said Khedad.

According to the same official, the appointment of the former German president reflected the good willingness to resume negotiations and the firm commitment of the Security Council to let the Sahrawi people decide upon his fate."

On this occasion, Khedad affirmed "Polisario Front's willingness to negotiate with Morocco" on the political basis of the Sahrawi people's right to self-determination. "

"We are for negotiations with Morocco on the basis of self-determination but not on the nature of the conflict that is purely colonial," he recalled.

In response to a question on the role of the AU in the monitoring of political process and its involvement, Khedad stated that the AU had always been present and had always showed its interest in resolving the conflict, and referred to the last visit of the president of the AU Commission and the commissioner in charge of peace and security in New York before the debates of the Security Council, during which  participants took the decision that the Western Sahara issue had to be settled through joint action between the AU and the United Nations."

Besides, he stressed that "the US administration and the Security Council did not seek an eternal ceasefire in Western Sahara, and are no more able to fund the Minurso and achieve the goals set by the Minurso, as decided by the Security Council and the United Nations." (SPS)