UN prepares proposal on Western Sahara talks

United Nations—The United Nations is preparing a formal proposal to jumpstart talks on settling the decades-old conflict over Western Sahara, a spokesman said Tuesday.
UN envoy Christopher Ross is ready to travel to the region to discuss the proposal on “re-invigorating the Western Sahara negotiating process,” said spokesman Farhan Haq. “A formal proposal is being made to the parties and neighbouring states,’ he added. Four rounds of UN-sponsored talks held between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front, which is campaigning for a referendum on self-rule, have failed to make progress since 2007.
The UN Security Council nevertheless said in a resolution adopted in April that the parties must prepare for a fifth round. No date has been announced for Ross’s trip, which follows months of strained relations between the United Nations and Morocco following Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to the region.—Agencies

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