Sahara issue - French President hailed Morocco's autonomy initiative as a 'good starting point'

Morocco's initiative to grant substantial autonomy to its Southern Provinces, the Sahara, is a "good starting point", said recently French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. He added that "Morocco has presented a plan. Let's get around the table and talk. We are not going to lug this story around for other thirty years," said Mr. Sarkozy. "Algerians are well aware" that settling this issue "is vital for the Maghreb Union," he underlined. For the French president, "There is an autonomy project supported by the United Nations. Let's talk about it."