Contacts are underway between Morocco and the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to assess the negotiation process on the Western Sahara issue. To bring the process out of the dead end, Rabat wishes “to reach a concerted political solution to this artificial conflict, on the basis of the Moroccan autonomy initiative and in total respect of its national sovereignty and territorial integrity “, said junior Foreign Minister, Youssef Amrani.
In an interview published earlier this week by a Moroccan daily newspaper, the official said there is no reason to speak about a crisis following Morocco’s decision to withdraw its confidence in the personal envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Sahara, Christopher Ross.
It is a sovereign decision, based on a comprehensive and objective assessment of the developments of the Sahara issue within UN bodies, he said.
The UN mediator must shoulder full responsibility for the situation as he failed to abide by the principles of objectivity, impartiality, earnestness, and discretion dictated by his mission. Furthermore, Ross failed to advance the political negotiation process and instead drove it to a deadlock, whereas he was required to resume the process from the point where it was left by his predecessor, Van Walsum, who had reached the conclusion that ” the independence option was unrealistic”.
The withdrawal of confidence in Ross is not a problem for the continuation of the negotiations, noted the Moroccan official, who mentioned several instances where UN envoys entrusted with similar cases had been discharged of their mission without affecting the course or outcome of the process.
In the wake of these latest developments of the Western Sahara issue,
Ban Ki-moon appointed, last Friday, the German Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber, as his special representative and Head of the Minurso, in replacement of the Egyptian Hany Abdelaziz, whose term expired at the end of last April.
For the moment, Morocco is awaiting the UN to designate somebody else to replace Christopher Ross who failed in his mission to pave the way to a definitive and mutually acceptable political solution to the Western Sahara issue.