Western Sahara: Kohler to launch new series of consultation in February

New York, Jan 30, 2019 (SPS)- UN Envoy for Western Sahara Horst Kohler will launch new series of consultation with the parties to the conflict and the neighbouring countries, in preparation of the second round of talks planned to take place next March to definitively put the peace process back on track.

On Tuesday, Kohler informed the UN Security Council of his plan of meeting again with the different parties in February in order to prepare the new roundtable, said sources close to the file, who reported "intense consultations to determine the meeting timetable."

The former German president who briefed the UN Security Council about the outcomes of Geneva roundtable has received unanimous support of the Council.

South Africa, unconditional supporter of the Frente POLISARIO, pleaded at this meeting for a more active role of the African Union in the settlement of the conflict, added the same sources.

South Africa, whose return to the United Nations Security Council, brings a new dynamic to the discussions on Western Sahara, demanded that Morocco shows good will by taking Confidence-building measures to free the detainees, allow human rights observers to visit the occupied territories and stop the looting of natural resources.

The United States which maintain pressure on the Security Council to revive the negotiations, insisted on the need to achieve "a mutually acceptable solution that provides for the self-determination of the Sahrawi people".

The US statement in this meeting, held in camera, complies with its position expressed following the extension of MINURSO mandate. The US delegation made no reference to the autonomy plan presented by Morocco, added the same sources.SPS