Resolution of conflict in Western Sahara requires direct negotiations between Morocco and Polisario Front

Mon, 11/27/2023 - 19:48

Madrid, 27 November 2023 (SPS) - Former Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya said that the conflict in Western Sahara "must be dealt with at its root," stressing the need for direct negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario Front.

In an interview with the daily newspaper El Independiente on the reversal of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez regarding the question of Western Sahara, the former Spanish foreign minister said that "this conflict, like so many others, cannot be resolved if it is not dealt with at its root."

In this regard, she believes that "the United Nations plays a very important role to try to bring the parties to the conflict (Morocco and the Polisario Front) to find a solution that will allow to resolve the conflict in the long term."

Regarding the role that Spain can play in the settlement of the conflict in Western Sahara, the current dean of the school of international affairs in Paris indicated that her country "should be able to support all the efforts of the UN Secretary-General, (Antonio Guterres) and his special envoy for Western Sahara (Staffan de Mistura)."

"But the issue should be addressed at its source, and at its source, it is a negotiation between the parties (...) What we can do is help, accompany, encourage, and perhaps contribute, but we cannot replace the parties to the conflict," she stressed.

In this context, the former Spanish foreign minister warned against the repercussions of a status quo in Western Sahara, where only a political solution capable of allowing the self-determination of the Sahrawi people could ensure lasting peace in the region.

"What we know is that when we stop paying attention to these conflicts without them being resolved, we ultimately create zones of fragility. We all know that fragility, in these times of strong turbulence, is not good advice," she said.