Africa Newsafrol News8 February 2011
afrol News, 11 February
- Morocco and the Polisario Front are back on the negotiations table to resolve the long dragging dispute over the Western Sahara.
The two day meeting backed by the United Nations, resumed Wednesday but no breakthrough is expected, according to critics.
More than three decades after the conflict started, Rabat and the Polisario Front introduced new proposals three years ago, but formal negotiations broke down after less than a year. A bid to revive them last year was held up by fresh tensions.
Reports said representatives from the two sides will meet behind closed doors at the IBM Learning Center in Armonk in New York state.
Diplomats said the meeting, modelled on a similar informal session held in Austria last August, aims to clear the way for a fifth round of formal talks between the parties.
Four previous such rounds held in the New York suburb of Manhasset since June 2007 have failed to resolve the dispute over the phosphate-rich territory annexed by Morocco in 1975 after colonial power Spain withdrew.
Polisario has been in row with Morocco since the annexation of the northwest African territory in 1975 and is now offering it autonomy, but Polisario, which fought a guerrilla war until 1991, demands a referendum on the future of the former Spanish colony with independence as one option.
By staff writer
© afrol News
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