Morocco Prepares Position on Western Sahara
Morocco is drawing up its latest position on Western Sahara, the former Spanish colony it annexed in 1975, for presentation to the United Nations, the prime minister said Saturday.
"The government is preparing proposals requested by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his last report on (Western) Sahara," Abderrahmane Youssoufi said after arriving in the phosphate-rich territory's main city.
Youssoufi, speaking at a meeting with women's group leaders, said the government would "develop a new approach to the problems of the inhabitants of the region to give them means of economic and social development under Moroccan sovereignty and territorial unity."
In February, Annan asked Morocco to "delegate some of its power regarding all the inhabitants and former inhabitants of the territory" as part of an overall solution to the longstanding conflict.
A UN-sponsored referendum on self-determination, originally slotted for January 1992, has been repeatedly delayed because the two sides cannot agree on who should be eligible to vote.
Several meetings brokered by the United Nations and former US secretary of state James Baker have also proved fruitless -- EL AYOUN, Morocco (AFP)
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