De Mistura to hold ‘informal bilateral consultations’ with parties of Western Sahara file this week

Staffan de Mistura intends to undertake “informal bilateral meetings” with the parties involved in the Western Sahara dispute this week, according to the UN Secretary General’s office, before he appears before the Security Council of the United Nations in the upcoming weeks.

“Mr. de Mistura invited the representatives of Morocco, the Polisario Front, Algeria, and Mauritania in New York, as well as the members of the Group of Friends of Western Sahara, namely France, the Russian Federation, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States,” said Stephane Dujarric on Tuesday during a press briefing. “Mr. de Mistura invited them to informal bilateral consultations with him, before the presentation of his biannual briefing to the Security Council.”

According to Dujarric, “the personal envoy stated the goal of the informal bilateral meetings would be to share lessons gained from the political process, to further explore viewpoints, and to continue seeking mutually acceptable means to advance the political process.”

In his invitations, the UN mediator emphasized that “he remains hopeful that a reasonable, enduring, and mutually acceptable political solution, providing for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, in conformity with the relevant Security Council resolutions, is feasible.”

In advance of the consultations, which will take place in the UN building in New York, De Mistura met on Tuesday with the permanent representatives to the UN of France and Mauritania.

The UN Personal Envoy, Morocco, the Polisario Front, Algeria, and Mauritania are negotiating at a quartet round table, which is being called for to resume by a number of Security Council members, including the United States.

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