Western Sahara

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 21st March 2007.

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Photo of Daniel Kawczynski Daniel Kawczynski Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether there are plans for the territory of Western Sahara to be recognised by the UK as a sovereign independent country; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Kim Howells Kim Howells Minister of State (Middle East), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The UK regards the status of Western Sahara as undetermined, pending UN efforts to find a solution. To this end, the UK fully supports the efforts of the UN Secretary-General, and his Personal Envoy to Western Sahara, Peter Van Walsum, to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

On 31 October 2006, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted UN Security Council Resolution 1720, which renewed the mandate for the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara until 30 April 2007. The Government supported this and will continue to encourage all parties to engage with the UN process.

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