The president of the Security Council for March, the British Ambassador, Jeremy Greenstock, believes that the question of Western Sahara will be an important subject for the end of the month, when MINURSO's mandate comes to an end. He said he was not expecting to have a decision at that stage. It was more whether there were ideas from Mr Baker or the Secretary-General on a broader approach to the problem that were worth following up. Part of it would depend, perhaps, on whether the parties themselves were interested in broadening the discussion beyond the referendum and the settlement issues.
According to the Diario de Avisos (Spain) on 20 March Morocco put off its proposal for autonomy for Western Sahara. Morocco would offer to the Saharawis their own government with its own institutions, but would reserve the departments of defence, the interior and foreign affairs. According to the weekly Le Journal (Morocco) the Moroccan proposals are insufficient to be proposed to the other party and have been judged inadequate for presentation to the Security Council.
Mrs Anna Lindh, Minister of Foreign Affairs, replied to a parliamentary question on Western Sahara. She gave assurance that Sweden would continue to support the efforts of the UN to resolve the conflict, that it would raise the question of Western Sahara in the EU context, which it is presiding at the moment, and would increase its humanitarian aid to the Saharawi refugees.
57th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights
The Commission adopted a resolution by consensus (E/CN.4/2001/L.3), under the heading of the right of peoples to determine themselves, which notes the agreements on the implementation of the settlement plan that Morocco and the Polisario Front concluded (...) and which invites both parties to implement these agreements immediately. The Commission asks the two parties to collaborate with the Secretary General, with his personal envoy and his special representative to ensure that each phase of the settlement plan is executed and in order to overcome the difficulties which remain. It enjoins the two parties to implement faithfully and loyally the whole of the measures proposed by the Secretary General for the identification of voters and the appeals process.
Mhamed Khadad, Saharawi coordinator with MINURSO, accompanied by Brahim Ghali, Polisario Front representative in Spain, was received by Miguel Nadal Segala, Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. The talks had bearing on bilateral relations and on prospects for peace in Western Sahara. Khadad reaffirmed the attachment of the Polisario Front to a strict and faithful implementation of the United Nations peace plan for Western Sahara. (Communiqué du Ministère de l'Information de la RASD)
Morocco-EU fishing agreements
The Polisario Front representation in Spain expressed its views on the negotiations for the renewal of the fishing agreement between the EU and Morocco, which broke down after 14 months. The Polisario Front regards itself as directly concerned with the question, since the agreement includes, quite illegally in terms of international norms, the territorial waters of Western Sahara, but believes that it is not responsible for this failure. The Polisario Front reaffirmed its wish to negotiate a fishing agreement with Spain, once the problem of Western Sahara is resolved. It asks the EU to do what it can to make Morocco respect international law, as only the resolution of the conflict of Western Sahara will guarantee political and economic stability for the Maghreb. (Declaración)
The provincial assembly of Bologna unanimously approved a resolution in which the Italian parliament and government are invited to commit themselves in favour of the full respect of civil rights of the population of Western Sahara, for the putting in place of peace agreements including the referendum and for the recognition of SADR.
France - Morocco
Jean-Pierre Chevènement, former French Minister of the Interior, expressed the hope, on the eve of a visit to Morocco, that the question of Western Sahara would rapidly find a peaceful solution through a regime of internal autonomy, which would result of a closer dialogue between Morocco and Algeria.
ASOCIACIÓN DE AMIGOS DEL PUEBLO SAHARAUI DE CARTAGENA: http://ctporsahara.eresmas.com/index.htm
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