7 June 2014

Western Sahara: Norwegian Foreign Minister Reaffirms Support of Saharawi People's Right to Self-Determination

Oslo (norway) — Norwegian Foreign Minister Mr. Borge Brende has reaffirmed his country's position in support of the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination.

This came in a response Thursday during session in the Norwegian parliament to a question submitted by MP and leader of the Norwegian Liberal Party Ms. Skei Grande on Norway's role to reinstate the process of decolonization of the Western Sahara as the last colony in Africa.

The Minister affirmed that Norway supports the United Nations efforts to find a just and lasting political solution that guarantees the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination.

He highlighted that the respect for human rights in the Western Sahara should be a priority, stressing the importance to enable the UN Mission for the Referendum in the Western Sahara (MINURSO) to accomplish its original mandate, but also to assume the task of monitoring and reporting on the situation of human rights in the region.

Regarding the issue of the Sahrawi natural resources, Mr. Brende asserted that as long as Morocco does not exercise internationally recognized sovereignty over the Western Sahara, it is not entitled to exploit the natural resources of the region.

Norway is committed to the recommendations of the United Nations not to exploit the resources of such regions unless it is done with the consent and in the interest of the local population, therefore we advised Norwegians investors not to invest in the Western Sahara," concluded Mr. Minister.

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