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Western Sahara

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Government policy on the Western Sahara. (160429)

The UK regards the status of Western Sahara as undetermined, pending UN efforts to find a solution. To this end, the UK fully supports the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy to the 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.

The UN Security Council adopted UN Security Council Resolution 1754 on 30 April 2007, which extended the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara. There are no plans for a referendum to be held in the near future. However, the resolution also called for both sides to enter into negotiations without preconditions. The UK welcomed two rounds of negotiations between the parties, hosted by the UN in Manhasset, New York, on 18-19 June and 10-11 August. A further round of negotiations is due to take place later in the year.