Polisario ‘ready’ for direct Western Sahara talks with Rabat

Brahim Ghali, Polisario secretary general and president of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arabic Democratic Republic. (AFP)
Updated 05 February 2018

Polisario ‘ready’ for direct Western Sahara talks with Rabat

ALGIERS: The Polisario Front which seeks independence for Western Sahara said Monday it is ready for direct negotiations with Morocco on the future of the disputed territory.
Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, foreign minister of the self-declared Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic which controls a thin strip of the territory, said a Polisario delegation had met in Berlin on January 25 with the UN envoy on Western Sahara, Horst Koehler.
“This is a new phase of discussions aimed at preparing for a new phase of direct negotiations,” he told a news conference in Algiers, which supports the Polisario.
The Polisario is “ready for direct negotiations with the Kingdom of Morocco to make peace,” Ould Salek said.
Morocco has also said it would meet with Koehler, a former German president appointed in August as special envoy to lead a new UN push for talks, but without giving a date.
The Polisario and Morocco fought for control of Western Sahara from 1974 to 1991, with Rabat taking over the desert territory before a UN-brokered cease-fire in the former Spanish colony.
Rabat considers Western Sahara an integral part of Morocco and proposes autonomy for the resource-rich territory, but the Polisario Front insists on a UN referendum on independence.
The two sides have not held direct talks since 2012.


Ministers arrive to tackle climate talks’ hot issues

Updated 10 December 2019

Ministers arrive to tackle climate talks’ hot issues

  • Officials from almost 200 nations haven’t managed to finalize the rules for international carbon markets
MADRID: UN climate talks in Madrid are kicking into high gear Tuesday, with ministers arriving to tackle some of the tough issues that negotiators have been unable to resolve over the past week.

Officials from almost 200 nations haven’t managed to finalize the rules for international carbon markets that economists say could help drive down emissions.

Another contentious issue is poor countries’ demand for aid to help them cope with the damage and destruction wrought by natural disasters blamed on climate change.

Unlike at many past climate summits, few heads of government will join the talks. Most are sending environment ministers or other senior officials instead.