UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recommended a three-month extension to 31 October of the UN Mission for a Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), UN News reported on Friday.
In his latest report on the former Spanish colony annexed by Morocco in 1975, Annan said that despite the efforts of his Personal Envoy, James Baker III, no progress was made at a meeting on 28 June in London between Morocco and the POLISARIO Front, which wants independence for Western Sahara.
The meeting failed to resolve any of the problems impeding the implementation of a 1988 settlement plan whose provisions include a referendum that would enable the Sahrawi to decide between independence or incorporation into Morocco.
Annan said neither party showed any willingness to bridge the gap between their positions, but he expressed hope that upcoming expert-level meetings in Geneva would yield progress on contentious issues.
The report can be read at the following website:
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