PUSL.- The UN Secretary-General today asked the Security Council to extend for a year the mandate of MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum of Western Sahara) to support the reinitiation of the political negotiations scheduled for December between Morocco and the Polisario Front.
“I recommend that the Council extends the mandate for a year, until 31 October 2019, to give my emissary the space and time necessary to create the conditions for the political process to advance,” wrote Guterres in a document obtained by French news agency AFP.
“I urge the parties and the neighbors to come to the negotiating table in good faith and without preconditions,” on December 5 and 6 in Switzerland.
Morocco and the Polisario Front agreed to participate in the “preliminary discussions”, said António Guterres, showing confidence in the responses of Algeria and Mauritania, the other two countries invited to the “round table” organized in Geneva. Morocco has announced several times that it will not give in to negotiations.
The last round of negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario Front dates back to 2012.
Polisario claims the referendum on self-determination for Western Sahara, which was the base of the 1991 cease-fire and which has so far been boycotted by Morocco. Morocco rejects any solution that does not imply autonomy under its sovereignty.