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Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 31 March 2008, Official Report, column 533W, on Morocco, what account he takes of the position taken by the Polisario; if he will hold discussions with the Polisario; and if he will make a statement. (201453)

The Government take regular note of the positions of both parties to the ongoing dispute over the status of Western Sahara, as well as those of the UN Secretary-General, his Personal Envoy on Western Sahara, Peter van Walsum, and the wider international community.

The UK continues to support the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and Peter van Walsum to achieve a negotiated solution that will provide for the self determination of the people of Western Sahara. The UK shares the view of the UN Secretary-General that both parties to the dispute must try to find a way out of the current political impasse though realism and a spirit of compromise.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and I do not currently have plans to hold discussions with representatives of the Polisario. However, Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials maintain regular contact with the representatives of the parties to the dispute, including the Polisario.