Morocco to attend a meeting on Western Sahara issue in Austria
www.chinaview.cn 2009-08-09 15:00:03   Print

    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 saying.

    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."

Editor: Li Xianzhi
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