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Communiqué on the third informal meeting on Western Sahara

Third informal meeting on Western Sahara
Greentree, Long Island
9 November 2010

At the invitation of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Mr. Christopher Ross, delegations from the Kingdom of Morocco and the Frente Polisario attended a third round of informal talks at Greentree, Long Island, from November 7 to 9 in the presence of delegations from the neighboring states, Algeria and Mauritania.

As the talks began, the participants observed a minute of silence in memory of the late Mr. Mahfoud Ali Beiba and welcomed his successor, Mr. Khatri Addu, the new Head of the delegation of the Frente Polisario.

Morocco and the Frente Polisario engaged in broad and frank discussions of each other's proposals on Western Sahara in an atmosphere of mutual respect despite the fact that each party continues to reject the proposal of the other as a basis for future negotiations. To create an environment propitious for progress, the parties have started to build a new dynamic for the next steps of the negotiating process.

For the first time, the delegations of the two parties and the two neighboring states joined together to discuss the program of Confidence Building Measures set forth by the High Commissioner for Refugees. During this meeting, the parties agreed to resume family visits by air without delay on the basis of strict application of the agreed Plan of Action of 2004. They also agreed to accelerate the inauguration of family visits by road. The four delegations plan to meet with the Office of the High Commissioner in Geneva in the near future to review the implementation of the Plan of Action in full and to advance the implementation of the visits by road.

The participants agreed to convene again in December as well as early next year to pursue, through innovative approaches, the negotiating process for which the United Nations Security Council resolutions have called.

[Source: By Christopher Ross, Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Greentree, Long Island, 09Nov10]

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