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Western Sahara issue to be handled, for first time, as “separate, special item”

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Nouakchott, June 29, 2018 (SPS) - The issue of Western Sahara will be included, for the first time, as “a special and separate item” from the other issues on the agenda of the 31st African Union Summit, said Friday, in Nouakchott, Sahrawi Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Salem Ould Salek.
“This summit is an important turning point for the issue of Western Sahara as it is the first time that it is included on the agenda of the summit as a special and separate item from other issues,” he said in a statement to APS on the eve of the holding of the Summit of AU Heads of State and Government, to be held on Sunday and Monday in the Mauritanian capital.
The issue of Western Sahara will not be handled within the “general and global framework of conflicts,” he said, adding that it will be examined and debated at the level of heads of State and government, who will also receive for the first time an “exclusive and separate report” on this issue.
Elaborated by Chairman of AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, the report was prepared in accordance with a resolution of AU Summit of January 2018 in Addis Ababa, in which the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and Morocco were called to negotiate to resolve the conflict.
“We are waiting for a debate after the publication of the report of AU Commission’s chairman, marking a crucial turning point in the handling of the issue of Western Sahara by the African Union,” he stressed, adding that “Morocco has always tried to withdraw this issue from AU.”
For Ould Salek, it is forbidden for Morocco to usurp the territory of others by force as it signed and ratified AU’s constitutive act. (SPS)