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Western Sahara

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the UK Government's preferred policy is (a) talks between the Polisario Front and Morocco on autonomy for the Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty and (b) a referendum on self determination for the people of Western Sahara; and if she will make a statement. (82043)

The Government's policy on the issue of the status of Western Sahara remains unchanged. The UK fully supports the efforts of the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan and his Personal Envoy to Western Sahara, Peter Van Walsum, to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara. We continue to urge all parties involved in the dispute to engage constructively with the UN.

The UK supported UN Security Council Resolution 1675, adopted on 28 April, which extended the mandate of the UN Mission for a Referendum in Western Sahara until 31 October 2006. There are, however, no plans for a UN referendum to be held in the near future.