Algeria regrets ‘biased’ UN text on W. Sahara

(Photo: Jordan News)
ALGIERS — Algeria on Sunday expressed “profound regret” at what it called an unbalanced UN Security Council resolution calling on all sides to resume talks toward a solution in disputed Western Sahara.اضافة اعلان

Algiers backs the Polisario Front, which seeks independence in Western Sahara, and in August broke off relations with Morocco over various accusations of hostile acts, which Rabat rejected.

Morocco controls nearly 80 percent of the arid and sparsely populated territory which was under Spain’s jurisdiction until 1975.

The United Nations resolution called for “the parties” to resume negotiations “without preconditions and in good faith” in search of a “just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution”.

It also renewed for another year the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, established in 1991.

“Algeria will not support this biased resolution which has the effect of comforting the exorbitant claims of the occupying state (Morocco),” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The Security Council resolution was spearheaded by the United States, which under former president Donald Trump broke with the world to recognize Morocco’s claim to the territory as part of a quid pro quo for Rabat’s normalization of ties with Israel.

The resolution does not recognize Moroccan sovereignty and calls for a goal of “self-determination of the people of Western Sahara”, a phrase that diplomats said was added by Washington at the behest of Russia, which could have vetoed the text.

Algeria expressed its “profound regret toward the fundamentally unbalanced approach consecrated by this text which is cruelly lacking responsibility and lucidity due to the unfortunate forcing by certain influential members of the Council,” the ministry added.

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita on Friday welcomed the text, saying it “specifies the real parties to the conflict by calling for Algeria to take part responsibly and constructively”.

The last UN-led peace talks in 2019 involved top officials from Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario.

They were frozen after UN envoy Horst Kohler quit the post in May 2019. He was finally replaced this month by veteran diplomat Staffan de Mistura.
On Friday Algeria rejected the “roundtable format” of talks.

The Polisario continues to demand a UN-supervised self-determination referendum, which was agreed in a 1991 ceasefire accord but has still never taken place.

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