NEW YORK, March 23, 2018 (SPS). –
Former German President Horst Kohler clearly defined its mandate as Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Western Sahara, and explained to the Security Council that he was trying to “find a path to the future of conflict that can lead to a solution that guarantees the self-determination of the Saharawi people.”
“My role in this process is not that of an referee who must judge who was right and who was wrong in the past. My mandate is to find a way for the future, a path that can lead to a mutually acceptable solution and which allows self-determination of the Saharawi people, “said Kohler in his first presentation on Western Sahara, according to Algerian agency APS.
Kohler, explained his vision of the peace process which he foresees to restart soon, and said that its objective was to restart direct negotiations between the two parties in the conflict in the course of 2018.
But he added that these negotiations “are not an end in themselves” because “they will be fruitful” only if they are carried out with realism, a spirit of commitment, good faith and without pre-conditions. “
“This is how Resolution 2351 clarifies, and we do not need a new terminology, but we need to fill that phrase with meaning and to follow it through action, “
Kohler added, rejecting the Moroccan conditions that refuse to return to the negotiation table if their autonomy plan is not presented as the only option to resolve the conflict.
The German mediator explained that the moment is not “exclusively focused on the solution” but rather on the “pursuit of a process” that allows both parties of conflict to negotiate the solution themselves.
Kohler expressed his willingness to broaden the topic of the discussions, including issues which refer directly to the situation of the Saharawi in the occupied areas, promising that he intends to travel to El Aaiún to meet with the Saharawi population.
Referring to his investigations in the past two months, Kohler said they were “guided by strategic points”.
According to Köhler, bilateral consultations with the parties to the conflict and neighboring countries aimed at “building confidence in his impartiality” and exploring areas to reach an agreement.
He said that during these meetings he “expressed some of his expectations” to achieve a successful process.
“I also told them that I would not take part in incident management and would not react to manufactured crises, I will not act as a firefighter, “he said in reference to Morocco, which has caused repeated crises at the level of the UN mission for the organization of a referendum on self-determination in Western Sahara (Minurso) to delay the mediation efforts of former envoy Christopher Ross.
“I want to talk and listen to all the stakeholders who could help solve this conflict, “he said in reference to the AU and the EU.
In relation to the European Union, he pointed out that he is “a close neighbor and a strategic partner of the Maghreb countries on economic, social and security issues, “therefore, has a clear perspective on the conflict, “Kohler argued.
“Likewise, there is no doubt that the African Union is an important actor, whose views on the conflict should be heard, especially as Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic are members “of this organization.
The German mediator intends to advance his mission despite attempts from Morocco to frustrate the efforts, arguing that the solution to this conflict is the sole responsibility of the Security Council, to this end, he intends to hold further bilateral consultations with the Security Council, including several senior officials from China and Russia.
Horst Kohler appealed to the Security Council to support him in his mission of mediation and invited “all members of the Council to continue to support me with words and to start making sure that Resolution 2351 is implemented, ” he concluded.