First Published: 2013-04-04

 

France renews support for Morocco’s Western Sahara initiative

 

Hollande says solution to conflict in Western Sahara is more important than ever as result of Islamist revolt raging in northern Mali.

 

Middle East Online

‘Current standoff is detrimental to everyone’

RABAT - A solution to the conflict in Western Sahara, where a UN peacekeeping force has been deployed for two decades, is more important than ever as a result of the Islamist revolt raging in northern Mali, the French president said on Thursday.

"The economic potential is enormous. But I am also aware of the obstacles, and the question of the Western Sahara, which has been waiting to be resolved for more than 30 years," President Francois Hollande told the Moroccan parliament.

"The current standoff is detrimental to everyone, to the separated families, to the refugees, to the tensions between the Maghreb countries. And the crisis in the Sahel makes its more urgent to put an end to this situation," he said.

France has 4,000 troops in northern Mali where it is leading an offensive against Islamist insurgents.

A series of international diplomats have expressed concern about the decades-old power vacuum in parts of the disputed Western Sahara.

During a trip to the territory and its neighbours last month, UN peace envoy Christopher Ross stressed the urgency of a deal between the pro-independence Polisario Front and Morocco.

Hollande renewed French backing on Thursday for former colony Morocco's insistence on its sovereignty over the territory and its refusal to negotiate more autonomy for the native Sahrawi.

 

Iran-backed bomb attack foiled in Jordan

Iran nuclear talks enter in final straight

Carrot and stick as ‘Islamic Sate’ seeks to win over Sunni tribes

7 Iraqis killed in accidental warplane bomb

A year after Gaza war, Shijaiyah still trying to recover

In Saudi Arabia, number of security prisoners climbs again

'Islamic State' targets Iraq town in wave of bomb attacks

Egypt arrests Brotherhood members over plot to disrupt shipping at Suez Canal

Egypt reveals number of Sinai militants killed in last five days

‘Islamic State’ seizes Syria town of Ain Issa from Kurdish forces

Crunch talks to seal Iran nuclear deal begin in Vienna

Warplanes target headquarters of Saleh party in Yemen capital

Egypt to reconsider parts of anti-terrorism draft law

Morocco journalist on hunger strike in Geneva told to return home

Near Gaza Strip, Israelis live in fear behind concrete walls

Tunisia declares state of emergency after beach massacre

After Tunisia beach massacre, tourists switch to other destinations

Deadly US raids target ISIS stronghold in Syria

Concern and grief as Britain remembers 2005 terror bombings

Iran nuclear talks: Will Ministers score diplomatic success?

Erdogan moots possibility of snap election

Coalitions of Syria rebels battle regime forces in Aleppo

Lawlessness in Libya poses real danger for Tunisia

Hezbollah backs Syria army in major assault on border city

Syria mosque explosion kills at least 25 Nusra fighters

Egypt President in Sinai after jihadist attacks on security forces

Yemen Huthi rebels ‘attack’ various areas in Saudi Arabia

No guarantee of success as Iran nuclear talks inch closer to lasting deal

Egypt ‘in state of war’ on second anniversary of Islamist ouster

Ansar al-Sharia denies killing of Abu Iyadh in US air strike

Rockets from Sinai strike Israel

Palestinians arrest 100 Hamas members in West Bank

Erdogan inaugurates public mosque in palace

Islamists form alliance in battle for Aleppo

Top Tunisian jihadist reportedly killed by US strike in Libya

Emir attends joint Shiite, Sunni prayers in Kuwait

Hamas denies involvement in Sinai attacks

4 Qaeda suspects killed in US drone attack in Yemen

'Series of errors' behind Air Algerie crash in Mali

Ankara has no plans for imminent intervention in Syria

21 killed in clashes, strikes in Yemen's Aden

GCC states vow united stand against IS mosque bombings

Palestinians protest one year after teenager burned alive

Egypt vows to wipe out 'dens of terror'

Tunisia arrests eight in connection with beach massacre