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Western Sahara

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects a referendum to be held on the future of the Western Sahara under UN auspices; and if he will make a statement. [110265]

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Drew) on 28 April 2003, Official Report, column 133W. The United Kingdom supports fully the efforts of the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) and his Personal Envoy, James Baker, to find a just, lasting and mutually acceptable solution to the Western Sahara dispute that provides for self-determination for the people of Western Sahara. In March this year the Security Council asked the UNSG to provide a report on the situation by 19 May, to allow Mr. Baker time to consider the responses of the parties to his proposals. I do not wish to pre-judge the outcome of this process.