Algeria Calls for Resuming Negotiations between Morocco, Polisario

UN special envoy for the Western Sahara region Staffan de Mistura. AFP
UN special envoy for the Western Sahara region Staffan de Mistura. AFP
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Algeria Calls for Resuming Negotiations between Morocco, Polisario

UN special envoy for the Western Sahara region Staffan de Mistura. AFP
UN special envoy for the Western Sahara region Staffan de Mistura. AFP

UN special envoy for the Western Sahara Staffan de Mistura arrived in Algiers on Monday and held talks with Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra.

The two officials discussed the latest developments on the Western Sahara issue and prospects of bolstering UN efforts to resume direct negotiations between the two parties to the conflict, Morocco and the separatist Polisario Front.

A foreign ministry statement said the negotiations aim to reach a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution.

Morocco has recently renewed adherence to the political process, of which Algeria is a major party, in accordance with Resolution 2602, which calls for a just, realistic and lasting mutually acceptable political solution to the Sahara issue.

This came during the meeting between Moroccan FM Nasser Bourita and De Mistura in Rabat on July 5.

Bourita recalled the constants of Rabat's position, as confirmed by King Mohammed VI in his speech on the occasion of the 46th anniversary of the Green March on November 6, 2021. Rabat aims to reach a political solution based exclusively on the Moroccan initiative for autonomy in line with the kingdom’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

De Mistura visited Polisario Front refugee camp in Tindouf and held a closed session with Head of the Polisario Front Brahim Ghali, as part of his second tour in the region.

He earlier met with Sidi Mohamed Omar, representative of the Polisario at the United Nations, and Head of the Sahrawi negotiating delegation, Khatri Addouh.

Sidi Mohamed affirmed that the Polisario Front is committed to peace and to defending by all legitimate means the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and independence.

After his appointment in November 2021, De Mistura kicked off his first tour in the region in January, when he visited Rabat, Mauritania, Algeria, and the Polisario Front refugee camp in Tindouf.

He visited Rabat in early July and met with Moroccan officials, but he didn’t visit the Western Sahara region, hoping to be able to do so sometime later.

Morocco and Algeria have long been at odds over the disputed territory of Western Sahara, where the Algiers-backed Polisario Front is seeking independence from Rabat's rule.

The disputed status of Western Sahara -- a former Spanish colony considered a “non-autonomous territory” by the United Nations -- has pitted Morocco against the Polisario Front since the 1970s.

Rabat, which controls nearly 80 percent of the territory, is pushing for autonomy under its sovereignty.

The Polisario Front, however, wants a UN-sponsored referendum on self-determination.



Hamas’ Armed Wing Says Israeli Airstrike Killed Two Hostages in Rafah

12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
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Hamas’ Armed Wing Says Israeli Airstrike Killed Two Hostages in Rafah

12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)

Hamas' armed wing al-Qassam Brigades said on Friday that two Israeli hostages held in Gaza were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah a few days ago.

The group, in a video posted on its Telegram channel, did not release the names of those said to have been killed or provide any evidence.

The Israeli government "does not want your hostages to return, except in coffins," the al-Qassam Brigades statement said.

Israel rescued four hostages held by Hamas in a hostage-freeing operation in central Gaza's al-Nuseirat on June 8. The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said more than 250 Palestinians were killed in the raid.

The war in Gaza erupted when Hamas fighters stormed southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel has responded with a military assault on the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza health ministry. Israel says its campaign is intended to eliminate Hamas as a threat and free the remaining hostages.