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UN envoy to visit Morocco for W. Sahara talks

RABAT, Oct 27 (KUNA) -- The UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for Western Sahara Christopher Ross will arrive here tomorrow Sunday on a visit to explore the possibility of resuming the dialogue between the Moroccan government and the local leaders of the Western Sahara region, southwest Morocco.
Ross's working visit was agreed upon during a phone conversation between Morocco King Mohammad VI and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on August 25, according to a statement issued by Morocco's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday.
King Mohammad VI highlighted the need to make headway in the efforts aiming to reach a viable and mutually-acceptable political settlement to the decades-long dispute, the statement recalled.
He reaffirmed commitment to the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and reminded Mr. Ban of the Moroccan initiative for autonomy in the region, it added.
In May Morocco withdraw confidence from Ross for what it called "bias to the separatists Polisario Front;" the accusation brought to a standstill the ninth round of the UN-sponsored peace talks between the Moroccan government and the Polisario, held in New York.
During his stay in the Kingdom of Morocco, Ross is expected to hold separate unofficial talks between the two sides to prepare the ground for a dialogue on a higher degree of autonomy for the region and the planned referendum for the Sahrawi people. (end) adt.gb KUNA 271945 Oct 12NNNN