Morocco: No conflict between us and U.N on Sahara issue
Morocco, Politics, 12/17/1998
There is no conflict (between Morocco and the United nations), and Morocco has not rejected the proposals submitted by the U.N secretary general regarding the Sahara issue.
The statement was made by Moroccan minister of the interior, Driss Basri, on Tuesday in Marrakesh at a joint news conference with Spanish interior minister Jaime Mayor Oreja, who paid a visit to Morocco Dec.14-15.
Basri said that Morocco has requested some clarifications and explanations about a number of points contained in the program that Annan submitted to King Hassan II, and that the request was accepted by the U.N secretary general.
The U.N Secretary General kofi Annan visited Morocco early last november and held two rounds of talks with the king. Annan's visit to the kingdom was part of a north african tour that also led the U.N chief to Mauritania and later on to Algeria, Tindouf (stronghold of the polisario in south western Algeria) and Tunisia. The tour was meant to put on track again a much-delayed referendum, proposed in the 1980's by Rabat to determine whether the former Spanish colony, that was retrieved by Morocco in 1975 under the Madrid accords, sets up on its own as claimed by the algerian-backed guerilla movement, the Polisario, or be incorporated into Morocco.
Annan proposed his own arbitration to settle the issue of 65,000 Sahrawis, belonging to tribes that the Polisario refuses to identify as would-be voters in the referendum.
Basri recalled that Annan recommended in his latest report to the Security council the extension of the term of the U.N. mission for the referendum in the Sahara (MINURSO) until next January 31, adding Morocco will remain determined, with its known good will, to listen to the explanations and to give the clarifications on a number of points proposed by Kofi Annan.
"There is no conflict, no rejection. There are only explanation requests and we are confident that we will reach agreement in the end," Driss Basri said.
Annan said in his latest report to the UN Security Council that the government of Morocco "renewed in a memorandum dated on November 20, 1998, the concerns it had initially expressed during my trip to Marrakesh" and that "in this document, the Moroccan authorities want more clarifications on some proposals before giving an official opinion on the set of measures proposed by the United Nations."
Annan recommends extension of Minurso term
Morocco denies rejecting Annan's Sahara proposals
Morocco says Annan's proposals on Sahara failed to advance process
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