Monday, 8 April 2013
Algeria: UN Mediator for the Sahara on New Tour in North Africa
The UN mediator for the Sahara, Christopher Ross, undertook a two week tour of North Africa (March 20 – April 3) in another attempt to persuade the parties to the Western Sahara conflict to sit at the table of direct negotiations.
After visiting a month or more ago the capitals of the Group of Friends of Western Sahara (Washington, Moscow, Paris, Madrid, London), as well as Germany and Switzerland, to seek international support for his approach, Ross resumed contacts over the last two weeks with the parties directly involved in the conflict: Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario Front.
UN deputy spokesman, Eduardo del Buey, told reporters in New York that the purpose of this new North African tour was to prepare the ground for a “possible resumption of direct talks” on the Sahara conflict, as a settlement of this issue “becomes more urgent than ever” in view of the “growing risk of instability in the Sahel.” He said that Ross's trip was“to prepare for the next phase in the negotiating process and a possible resumption of direct talks to achieve a mutually acceptable political solution.”
For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.
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