Guterres urges political dialogue on Western Sahara

Madrid, Jul 2 (EFE).- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday said it was “absolutely essential” to revive a political dialogue on Western Sahara amid rising tensions between Spain and Morocco.

“The current situation is not sustainable and is a factor for instability in an area where there is a high risk of terrorism,” Guterres told Efe.

The Secretary-General said there were already thirteen candidates put forward for the UN special envoy position, but that all were rejected by the parties.

“We are really making an effort so that we can finally have a special envoy to revive the political process in Morocco,” he assured.

Tensions between Madrid and Rabat soared in April after Spain provided medical treatment to the leader of the Polisario Front, a pro-Western Sahara independence organization engaged in a long conflict with Morocco.

Shortly after, an influx of some 8,000 Moroccan migrants breached the border between Morocco and the Spanish territory of Ceuta in North Africa, fueling the diplomatic fallout with Madrid painting the incident as orchestrated.

Since, Morocco and Spain have been accusing each other of violating their territorial agreements.

Western Sahara, a largely deserted territory on the Atlantic coast of Northern Africa, was a Spanish colony until the 1970s but has been claimed by Morocco since. EFE


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