Sahara issue back on Security Council agenda for July 11th
The Western Sahara dispute between Morocco and the Polisario Front was placed on the UN Security Council's agenda for July 11th, China's Ambassador at the UN and current President of the Council, Guangya Wang announced Wednesday (July 4th). He added the Council will review Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's report "The Status and Progress of Negotiations" on the Sahara, which was released Tuesday (July 3rd) in New York. Ki-moon's personal Envoy Peter Van Walsum, who mediated the first round of the latest talks held between the two sides in mid-June, will also speak before the Security Council. MAP quoted Wang as saying the negotiations "constitute a good sign and the start of a process to reduce differences between the parties." The new report is expected to differ slightly from Ki-moon's original report on the problem and several controversial recommendations regarding both sides' proposals will be removed. Also on Wednesday (July 4th), Moroccan government spokesman Nabil Benabdellah confirmed the next round of negotiations is scheduled for August 10th. Comments from both sides indicated that although negotiations themselves represent an important step forward in the reconciliation process, both sides remain far apart in their perceptions of the territory's future.
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