Western Sahara: France supports UN process for just, lasting solution

Paris, July 18, 2016 (SPS) - France supports United Nations process for a "just, lasting and mutually acceptable solution" to Western Sahara conflict," said Monday the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"France will continue to support the UN-sponsored political process, aiming at finding a just, lasting and mutually acceptable solution" to Western Sahara conflict, said the spokesperson for the French Foreign Ministry, Romain Nadal during his weekly press briefing on Friday.

He also welcomed the return to El Aaiun (the occupied capital of Western Sahara), of the staff of the UN Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

"We welcome the return of the first group of the civilian staff of MINURSO to the headquarters in El Aaiun on 14 July, in accordance with the agreement signed between the UN and Morocco," he said, adding that France "hopes that MINURSO would be able again to carry out its mission, in accordance with the UN Security Council's resolution 2285."

The resolution 2285, adopted on 29 April, has extended MINURSO's mandate until 30 April 2017.

On 20 March 2016, Morocco expelled 75 civilian staff members of MINURSO to exert pressure on UN Chief Ban Ki-moon, who, during his visit to the region, dubbed the situation in Western Sahara as "illegal occupation." (SPS)