25 June 1997:
Finally direct negotiations on Western Sahara !

Letter to Mr. Kofi Annan by the Norwegian Student Union and the Norwegian Students' and Academics' International Assistance Fund, Oslo.

Dr. Kofi Annan
United Nations Headquarters
New York, USA

Your excellency;

Finally direct negotiations on Western Sahara!

The Norwegian Students Union (NSU) and the Norwegian Students´and Academics´International Assistance Fund (SAIH) hereby wish to express their great satisfaction with the fact that direct high- level negotiations between Morocco and the Front POLISARIO are now taking place in Lisbon under the guidance of your special envoy James Baker.

We are pleased with the positive signals from the negotiations so far, and sincerely hope that your efforts to solve the conflict over Western Sahara soon will bear fruits.

The state of Morocco has now occupied its neighbour for almost 22 years, causing enormous and protracted suffering among the indigenous Saharawi population. The Western Saharan nation has endured occupation and injustice for too long and it is now a matter of urgency to find a just and durable solution to the conflict.

During the course of negotiations, we think that the following points should be kept in mind:

- The UN and the world community at large has always treated the issue of Western Sahara as an issue of decolonization, and should continue to do so. The right to freedom and self- determination should be applied to all nations.

- The right of the Saharawi people to self- determination through a free, fair, just and transparent referendum should under no circumstances be comromised.

- The UN Peace Plan for Western Sahara should be implemented as soon as possible. A prolongation of the status quo only serves the interests of the occupying power, Morocco.

We call on the UN and it´s member states to provide all the human and material resources needed to finally turn the page on colonialism in Africa.

We wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts in trying to find a just solution to the issue and for giving Western Sahara the high priority in the UN system that it deserves.

Sincerely,

Ronny Hansen
President of SAIH
Fritz Henrik Froelich
International officer of NSU

Copy to: Special Envoy James Baker, Front POLISARIO, the Moroccan embassy in Oslo


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