The International Socialist Organization has proposed to conduct a good offices mission between the parties to the Western Sahara conflict to bring out the negotiations from the current deadlock.
The initiative of this worldwide organization of social democratic, socialist and labor parties was announced Tuesday in Madrid during a meeting of the IS Mediterranean committee, convened at the headquarters of the Spanish Socialist Labor party (PSOE).
On the fringes of the meeting, deputy secretary general of the PSOE, Elena Valenciano, hosted a luncheon bringing together around the same table two representatives of the Moroccan socialist party, the USFP, a delegate of the Algerian ruling National Liberation Front (FLN), and two members of the Polisario Front. ISO secretary general Luis Ayala took part in the luncheon.
The Polisario delegation is attending the SI meetings as observer and the FLN has just applied for membership to the organization whereas the USFP is full-fledged member of the ISO. The USFP former first secretary, Mohamed El Yazghi, has held the position of vice-chairman of the SI for years.
The Socialists’ move takes place at a time the Sahara issue is actually in a deadlock after Morocco decided to withdraw his confidence from the UN secretary general’s personnel envoy for the Sahara, US Christopher Ross.
To unblock the situation, ISO intends to send two mediation missions to Rabat and Algiers in a bid to align the conflicting parties’ positions.
At the conclusion of its meeting in Spain, the SI Group of contact on the Sahara renewed support for the negotiations process within the framework of the United Nations. It also vowed to contribute, on the basis of “democratic and socialist principles”, to the search of a mutually acceptable solution for a future of peace, “in compliance with international law”.
Are the socialists going to succeed where the UNO and its envoys seem powerless to reach a definitive settlement of the thorny Sahara issue?