RABAT, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Morocco will take part in a limited-person
meeting in Austria on Aug. 9 to 11, at the invitation of UN Secretary General's
Special Envoy Christopher Ross, to seek a permanent solution to the issue of
Western Sahara, state MAP news agency quoted Moroccan Foreign Ministry as
The informal meeting is to be held in preparations for the fifth round of
talks between the regional parties directly related to the situation.
Delegates from Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario (formally
known as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro)
will attend the three-day meeting.
The meeting comes at the time when a delegation of staffers from the U.S.
congress is visiting Morocco's southern province of Sahara.
Members of the delegation had the chance to interact with the local elected
public servants and members of the civil community as well as to inspect
development projects in the region, state MAP news agency reported.
Morocco annexed most of the Western Sahara area in the 1970s when Spain
ended its colonial administration. It proposed that the region has a measure of
autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty.
But the Polisario has insisted that the people of the region are allowed to
vote on a referendum that would include the option of independence.
The UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) was
established in 1991 through UN Security Council Resolution 690to monitor the
cease-fire agreement between the two parties to the conflict over the Western
Sahara -- the government of Morocco and Polisario. The UN classifies Western
Sahara as a "non-self-governing territory."¡¡