12 December 2018

Western Sahara: SA Welcomes Resumption of Peace Talks On Western Sahara

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has welcomed the resumption of peace talks on the situation in Western Sahara.

The first round of negotiations among representatives from Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and the Polisario Front, was held on 5 and 6 December 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Sisulu welcomed the positive developments, stating that South Africa is pleased that Morocco and the Polisario Front have been able to meet to seek a political solution to the conflict.

"South Africa is hopeful that this negotiation process, led by the personal envoy of the UN Secretary-General, former President Horst Köhler of Germany, will lead to a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara," Sisulu.

The negotiations are taking place in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2 440 adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 31 October 2018, which called on the parties to show "political will and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue".

Sisulu said the resolution emphasised the importance of a renewed commitment by the parties to advancing the political process.

"It is our hope that these negotiations is a step in the right direction towards reviving the long-stalled talks between the Polisario Front and Morocco. South Africa will utilise its upcoming term on the UN Security Council to call on the UN to continue to support the right to self-determination of the people of Western Sahara," the Minister said.

The meeting was held after six years of suspended negotiations and will be followed by a second round-table meeting in the first quarter of 2019.

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