The European Union (EU) on Thursday congratulated Staffan de Mistura on his appointment as the UN General Secretariat’s new special envoy for Western Sahara and expressed its readiness to support his efforts to resume negotiations to find a “just solution” for both sides acceptable “.
“We are confident that De Mistura, an incredible diplomat with years of experience in the region and in international negotiations, will help rejuvenate the United Nations-led process in Western Sahara,” said the European External Action Service (EEAS). by a statement.
“The EU hopes to maintain contact with the new personal envoy in his efforts to resume negotiations on a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution,” he said, calling on the parties to “engage in a cooperative search for one.” Solution to participate. ” in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council (United Nations) and the principles and objectives of the Charter of the United Nations “.
For its part, the Federal Foreign Office has highlighted the appointment of De Mistura as “very good news” in a statement and said that he is “an experienced diplomat and mediator who has demonstrated impressive diplomatic skills over many years”. “.
“De Mistura can count on our full support as he tries to find, within the framework of the UN, a just and lasting political solution to the conflict in Western Sahara that is acceptable to all parties,” he said.
In this context, the Federal Foreign Office stressed that “it is important that the political process, and in particular the round table talks, be resumed quickly in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council”.
De Mistura takes office without the parties having shifted an iota from their respective positions, because while Rabat only contemplates limited autonomy, the Polisario Front insists on its defense of the self-determination of the former Spanish colony.
Political tensions have also increased as a result of the fact that the United States government, led by Donald Trump, recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara in December 2020, weeks after it was displaced by Moroccans in the Guerguerat Pass, which borders Mauritania , Clashes broke out after a blockade by activists.
Western Sahara appears as a non-autonomous territory to the United Nations until an agreed agreement – or even a referendum – has not yet arrived. The last rapprochement between the parties came from Koehler’s hand, although at that time neither the Moroccan authorities nor the Polisario Front broke away from their respective positions.
The former Spanish colony of Western Sahara was occupied by Morocco in 1975 despite resistance from the Polisario Front. The 1991 armistice was signed with a view to holding a self-determination referendum, but differences over the preparation of the census and the involvement of Moroccan settlers have so far prevented its convocation.