Morocco has been illegally occupying the Western Sahara since 1976, in which year it annexed the territory in flagrant breach of international law.
Despite all the efforts and gestures of goodwill of the Polisario Front, the legitimate representative body of the Saharan people, as well as those of the UN, the peace process in the Western Sahara has long been blocked owing to the intransigence of the Moroccan authorities, who, refusing to abide by international law, continue to occupy the territory.
Morocco's attitude has blocked the peace process. The Moroccan proposals have been essentially such as to obstruct the right of the Saharan people to decide its own destiny, even though that right is enshrined in UN resolutions and the UN charter.
In view of the recent increased repression in the territories of the Western Sahara occupied by Morocco, can the Council state how it views Morocco's attitude and explain what initiatives it is taking in order to act on the UN resolutions on the Western Sahara by giving reality to the legitimate and inalienable right to self-determination of the Saharan people, as the sole and absolutely necessary framework permitting a fair and lasting solution to the Western Sahara conflict?
(PT) This answer, which was drafted by the Presidency and is binding neither on the Council nor on the Member States, was not given orally during questions to the Council at the October 2007 session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
The Council's position is clear. The Council fully supports the efforts of the United Nations and the Personal Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General to find a political solution for the problem. The Council has consistently maintained that the solution must be just, lasting, mutually acceptable and must provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, in compliance with UN resolutions.
After several years of political impasse, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1754 of 30 April 2007 represents an opportunity to inject fresh momentum, launching an appeal for direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions. On 18/19 June and on 10/11 August this year, two rounds of talks were held under the auspices of the United Nations, and a new round is scheduled for the autumn. We hope that the parties and States of the region continue to cooperate fully with the United Nations and with each other to achieve progress towards a political solution for this issue.