U.S.-proposed framework accord on Sahara still valid, Moroccan fm
Morocco, Politics, 5/3/2002
The U.S.-proposed framework accord on the Sahara is still valid as a solution to the artificial conflict of the Moroccan Sahara, Moroccan foreign affairs and cooperation minister, Mohamed Benaissa, said Thursday.
The draft will be submitted to a committee of experts and in the event of an agreement, the U.N. Security Council will be asked to pass a final non-negotiable resolution, either unanimously or by a majority vote, Benaissa told Al-Ittihad Al-Ichtiraki daily.
The Security Council held Tuesday a meeting during which U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan made a report on the situation in the Sahara. The Council unanimously decided to extend the mandate of the MINURSO (U.N. Mission in the Sahara) for a three-month period until next July 31.
The U.S. had proposed a three-week extension, while Russia asked for six months.
The Moroccan foreign affairs and cooperation minister voiced astonishment as to the attitude of Russia, which was chairing the Council. The Russian representative to the Council recommended amendments to the U.S. proposal, in a way that takes into account the partition of the Moroccan Sahara.
Such an attitude is contrary to the standpoint expressed by Russian foreign minister, Igor Ivanov during a last month visit to Morocco, Benaissa said.
The official recalled that Ivanov had said that Moscow does not back the partition of the Sahara and that in view of its friendly relations with both Morocco and Algeria, Russia would be ready to play a constructive role in the quest for a solution to the issue.
Morocco expressed its astonishment to the Russian authorities regarding this attitude which goes against the good relations binding Rabat and Moscow, Benaissa said.
The foreign affairs and cooperation minister renewed Morocco's backing to a peaceful settlement guaranteeing Rabat's sovereignty over its territories. The framework accord option is the most suitable way out to ensure security and stability in the region, Benaissa said.
Sahara partition is inadmissible, affirms Benaissa
US shows understanding to Morocco's position on Sahara
France voices backing to US-proposed frame-work agreement on Sahara
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