Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar announced on Tuesday that the United Nations Secretary General’s Personal Envoy to the Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, is due to visit the region very soon.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with the Italian Foreign Minister, Morocco’s chief diplomat said that “following the clarifications submitted to the King and Rabat’s commitment to facilitate the mission of the UN envoy, Christopher Ross and the head of Minurso Kim Bolduc are welcomed in Morocco in order to complete their mission in the region.”
Since January 2009, Morocco and the Polisario held 10 informal rounds of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy, Christopher Ross. All of these negotiations have ended without any progress.
In April 2007, Morocco presented an Autonomy Plan that was described as “serious and credible” by influential members of the Security Council. The said plan proposes significant autonomy for the Sahara with a local government and a parliament, within the Moroccan sovereignty.
However, the Polisario Front, supported by Algeria, keeps rejecting the Moroccan plan and insists on the right of the population of the Western Sahara to exercise its self-determination through a referendum.