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New round of W. Sahara talks opens in Geneva

GENEVA, Dec 5 (KUNA) -- The UN-brokered roundtable discussion on the dispute in Western Sahara region, the first since 2012, opened at the UN HQ in Geneva on Wednesday with representatives of the Kingdom of Morocco, the Polisario Front, Algeria and Mauritania, as well as the UN, taking part.
The two-day talks are the fruit of the efforts made by UN envoy Horst Koehler to convince the concerned parties to resume the peace negotiations.
Koehler, the host of the talks, former president of Germany and former head of the International Monetary Fund, was appointed as Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for the Western Sahara in 2017.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita joined the talks with his Algerian and Mauritanian peers Abdelkader Messahel and Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, respectively.
The Polisario Front is represented by member of its secretariat and head of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi National Council (parliament) Khatri Addouh.
Welcoming the decision of all parties to join the talks, Guterres urged them to engage in constructive dialogue and avoid imposing preconditions.
The armed conflict over Western Sahara broke out in 1975 between Morocco, Mauritania and the Polisario Front. Since the 1991 ceasefire, however, Western Sahara's status has remained a point of contention between Morocco and the Polisario Front. (end) ta.gb