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The UN Secretary-General called for new Morocco-Polisario dialogue “for facing up to existing frustrations.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling on Morocco and the Polisario Front to accept the yet officially unnamed new envoy for Western Sahara dialogue. In a speech in Spain on Friday, June 2, Guterres stated it is “absolutely essential to have an envoy to relaunch the political dialogue on Western Sahara.”

Speaking at a joint press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, the UN chief stated that the difficulty in finding a mutually acceptable UN envoy is hampering progress in resolving the Western Sahara issue. 

Guterres was visiting Spain for a visit to the UN Information and Communications Technology Facility in Valencia following an audience with Spanish King Felipe VI and a roundtable discussion with Spain’s Vice-president and Minister for Ecological Transition Teresa Ribera.

Stephane Dujarric, the Secretary-General’s spokesperson, did not mention Guterres’ remarks on Western Sahara in his Friday briefing, yet several internal media outlets reported on his remarks live from the press conference.

Guterres lamented the current impasse, with both Morocco and Polisario repeatedly rejecting candidates for the position of UN Envoy on Western Sahara. Both sides have voiced their opposition to candidates they see as too favorable to the other side. “The difficulty is that we already put forward 13 names and until now we haven’t got the parties’ agreement,” Guterres remarked.

The UN has not made public the name of its latest candidate, although unconfirmed UN sources told Al Jazeera the latest candidate is former UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, who Polisario reportedly accepted but Morocco rejected.

“The current situation is not sustainable and is a factor for instability in an area where there is a high risk of terrorism,” Guterres told Spanish news agency EFE. The UN chief emphasized that the US is “making an effort so that we can finally have a special envoy to revive the political process in Morocco.”


Source: Morocco World News.