Colombia's president visits Algeria
Mr. E. Samper, president of Colombia and actual president of the Nonaligned Countries, held talks with President Zeroual concerning the situation in the Middle East and the Western Sahara conflict.
International Lawyers Conference
An International Conference with lawyers from Europe and USA took place at Calizano, Italy.
The Moroccan prince heir Sidi Mohamed, before his official visit to Spain, declares about Western Sahara, to the daily newspaper ABC of Madrid : "We are open to every kind of dialog in order to find a solution in the frame of the UN resolutions. So His Majesty entrusted me to receive a Sahrawi delegation ( in August 1996 at Rabat). He explained to me the great lines of the discussion. The result is very important, but the exchange of the points of view also. The conversations went on for 48 hours and then stopped. It was not a negative stop. There was a dialog even there were no concrete results. His Majesty thought that it is better to stop at this point and continue later. And we have hope. Morocco feels very bound to the UN peace plan. We want absolutely the presence of the UN on the place, after all to make respected the cease-fire."
In a press release published in Paris, the AFAPREDESA announces that Ahmed Routabi has been killed at Tan-Tan (South Morocco) in the night of the 19 to 20th April 1997. Routabi, suspected of independentist activities had been arrested before several times by Moroccan authorities.
Fifth Committee - Financing of MINURSO
The Secretary-General proposes a budget for the period from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998, seeking an appropriation of some $29.1 million gross, should the Council extend MINURSO's mandate beyond 31 May. The proposed budget provides for the maintenance of MINURSO's current authorized strength of 203 military observers, 27 military support personnel and 9 civilian police observers, supported by 167 civilian staff and 2 observers from the OAU. The budget shows a 9 per cent cut from the prior 12-month period.
15 - 16.05.97
Swiss visit to Morocco
A delegation of Swiss businessmen under the leading of the Minister of trade visits Morocco in order to reinforce the bilateral political and commercial relationship. They met members of the Moroccan governement and were received by King Hassan II. Morocco is the third Swiss market in Africa and the Swiss investors take the second place among the foreign capital in Morocco. A free trade agreement will be signed soon in the frame of the AELE/EFTA.
The speaker of President Yasser Arafat, Mr Marouane Kanafani, declared in a press conference at Cairo: " We dont have any objections against Mr. Dennis Ross (actual US mediator for Middle-East), but the Palestinian people and responsibles ask themselves why two former US secretary of State , James Baker and Cyrus Vance, have been designed for less important problems than Middle East". "The personality of the mediator represents the seriousmess of the USA", he added.
Short news from the refugee camps and liberated territories of the SADR
15.05.97 Rabouni: Visit of a Spanish delegation of 100 individuals (solidarity groups, parliamentaries, representatives of student associations, lawyers associations, trade unions, teachers associations, journalists,...).
15.05.97 National School of Women Education 27 of February: Annual cultural competition including general knowledge, singing and dancing, organized by the Ministry of Information and the National Radio.
15.05.97 Wilaya of Awserd: Annual Law Conference organized by the Ministry of Justice with the contitution of a jury of 80 persons who have to be on the bench of the penalty courts operating twice a year. Some foreign lawyers explained experiences of law practice in democratic states.
15.05.97 Wilaya of Awserd: Inauguration of a health project realized by the solidarity group of Vitoria, Spain.
16.05.97 Wilaya of Smara: Meeting of the AFAPREDESA with a Spanish delegation of Human Rights organisations, NGOs,Trade Unions and political representatives. After a general speach of the President Abdeslam, Lehdia Ali Bouya Mayara, M'Barka Alina Mustapha, Fatma Sidi Nafaa and Najat Mhemed Zayou, all members of families of Sahrawis disappeared in Morocco beared witness. Mahjoub Mima and Mohamed Bennou, former prisoners of conscience in Morocco, also beared their testimony.
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