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Western Sahara talks set to resume

Negotiations between Morocco and the Western Sahara rebel group the Polisario Front will resume in the United States next month, Morocco’s foreign minister said on Thursday.

Talks have been ongoing over the disputed north-west African territory and will continue at the beginning of June, Taieb Fassi Fihri said.

“The seventh phase of informal meetings will take place in Manhasset near New York,” the minister told a parliamentary commission, without giving an exact date.

UN special envoy Christopher Ross will attend the negotiations along with representatives from Algeria and Mauritania.

Six previous rounds of talks, the last of which was held in Malta in March, have ended without any tangible progress, with Morocco and the Polisario Front accusing each other of undermining the process.

Western Sahara is a former Spanish colony annexed in 1975 by Morocco.

The Polisario Front has demanded a self-determination referendum, while Morocco has offered greater autonomy, with a local government and Parliament. – AFP

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