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Friday, 18 June 2021

UN position on Western Sahara 'unchanged' following US move

The UN deploys a peacekeeping mission to the region to monitor a ceasefire and supposedly to organize a referendum on the territory's status.

AFP , Thursday 10 Dec 2020
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
File Photo: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during an interview with Reuters at UN headquarters in New York City, New York, US, September 14, 2020. Picture taken September 14, 2020. (Reuters)
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The United Nations said Thursday its position was "unchanged" on the disputed Western Sahara region after the United States recognized Morocco's sovereignty.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres believes "the solution to the question can still be found based on Security Council resolutions," his spokesman said, describing the UN's position as "unchanged."

The Western Sahara region is claimed by both Morocco and Polisario Front pro-independence rebels who recently revived their three-decade struggle in the former Spanish territory.

The UN chief's message to the two parties "is to avoid any action that could further aggravate a tense situation," added spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

The UN deploys a peacekeeping mission to the region to monitor a ceasefire and supposedly to organize a referendum on the territory's status.

The vote was set for 1992 but was aborted when Morocco objected to the proposed electoral register, saying it was biased.

It then refused to accept any vote in which independence was an option, and said only autonomy was on the table.

The last UN envoy on the dispute resigned in 2019 and has not been replaced.

At the UN, Western Sahara is one of the few issues dealt with by the Security Council on a regular basis but only behind closed doors.

Morocco has become the fourth Arab nation this year to recognize Israel, President Donald Trump announced Thursday, as he in turn fulfilled a decades-old goal of Morocco by backing its sovereignty over Western Sahara.

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