A third round of United Nations-backed negotiations on the Sahara issue between Morocco and the polisario front will take place in Manhasset (New York) from 7 to 9 January 2008.

This process of negotiations was possible thanks to the dynamic created by the Moroccan autonomy initiative, which offers a historical opportunity to end the dispute on the Sahara region that still impedes regional security, stability and prosperity.

This initiative has been largely welcomed by the international community and is regarded as "serious and credible" by the UN Security Council. In this regard, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent letters of invitation to both Morocco and polisario and to neighbouring countries, Algeria and Mauritania, which attended the June and August negotiations as observers.