Western Sahara

House of Lords written question – answered on 26th February 2013.

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Photo of Lord Steel of Aikwood Lord Steel of Aikwood Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 5 February (WA 55), whether ministers will also meet representatives of the Polisario Front to discuss Western Sahara.

Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Senior Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Jointly with the Department for Communities and Local Government), Senior Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Faith and Communities) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Ministers do not have direct contact with the Polisario Front.

The Government strongly support UN-led efforts to encourage the parties to the negotiations, Morocco and the Polisario Front, to agree a long-lasting and mutually-acceptable political solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

As part of that process, the UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy to Western Sahara, Ambassador Christopher Ross, visited the region in September and October 2012 and met with a wide range of interlocutors including from the Governments of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario leadership. Ambassador Ross also paid a visit to London earlier this month, when he met with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the honourable Member for North East Bedfordshire, Alistair Burt, as well as with senior officials.

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