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UN chief urges new bid to end Western Sahara dispute


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is proposing a new diplomatic push to end the decades-old dispute over Western Sahara, possibly by holding a referendum on Morocco’s rule over the territory. Guterres said in the report to the United Nations Security Council that he wants a new dynamic and a new spirit in negotiations on ending one of the world’s most intractable conflicts.

The UN chief said in the report sent to the council yesterday, the negotiations will have the aim of reaching a mutually acceptable political solution that includes resolution of the dispute over the ultimate status of Western Sahara, including through agreement on the nature and form of the exercise of self-determination.

It was Guterres’s first report to the council on Western Sahara. The Security Council will discuss Western Sahara on April 25 ahead of a vote two days later on renewing MINURSO’s mandate. Guterres told the council that the mission should be extended for another year, until April 30, 2018.

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