Mexican president supports UN efforts to settle Sahara dispute
Morocco-Mexico, Politics, 2/14/2005
Mexican President Vicente Fox Quesada reiterated his country's support to the UN Security Council's efforts to reach a negotiated political solution to the Sahara dispute opposing Morocco to the Algeria-backed separatist movement "Polisario."
''We always favour the sovereignty of countries and we are respectful of the settlement of problems and disputes through dialogue, negotiations and accords," he said in an interview aired Sunday by Moroccan TV channel "2M."
The Mexican President who greeted Morocco's efforts in its attempts to reach a solution to this issue, said his country is "ready to back a political solution to the Sahara issue in the framework of the United Nations."
Morocco retrieved the former Spanish colony under the 1975 Madrid Accords signed with Spain and Mauritania. However, the Polisario Front, backed by Algeria, has been claiming the separation of these Southern provinces from the rest of the Kingdom.
The Mexican President voiced hope that the parties engaged in the peace process reach a "political and peaceful solution that of course will be positive."
"A negotiated accord will pave the way for a solution of the Sahara issue" said Vicente Fox who is "convinced" that such a solution will be found "very soon."
When asked about the fate of the 408 Moroccan soldiers, still detained by the Polisario in the Tindouf camps (Southwestern Algeria), despite appeals by the UN and human rights organizations to release them, the Mexican President reiterated his country's support to "the total respect of human rights" and wished that a solution be found to in favour of these Moroccan POWs on a humanitarian ground.
Some of these soldiers have spent more than 20 years in those camps despite the UN-brokered ceasefire concluded between Morocco and the separatists in 1991.
Fox's visit, the first to an Arab country, came at the invitation of King Mohammed VO who paid, last November, a similar visit to Mexico as part of a five-nation South American tour.
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