Western Sahara

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 24th February 2005.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Labour/Co-operative, Stroud

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures he has taken to discourage oil companies from operating within the disputed territory of the Western Sahara.

Photo of Bill Rammell Bill Rammell Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The Government regard the sovereignty of Western Sahara as undetermined pending United Nations efforts to find a solution to the dispute over the territory. The UN legal counsel gave an opinion on the signing of contracts for exploration of mineral resources in Western Sahara in 2002 (S/2002/161 of 12 February 2002). We fully support this advice.

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