United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said Tuesday that she has full confidence in the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, to revive the UN political process to achieve a lasting solution.
“It is a pleasure to welcome Staffan de Mistura to New York as the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara. We have full confidence in his leadership in resuming the UN political process to achieve a dignified and lasting solution to this conflict,” the US ambassador said in a tweet.
The 74-year-old Swedish-Italian diplomat took up his post as the new UN envoy for Western Sahara on 1 November, succeeding Horst Kohler.
Staffan de Mistura will thus have the heavy task of relaunching the negotiations between the parties to the conflict, Morocco and the Polisario Front, at a time when calls are multiplying for a “direct dialogue” between the protagonists as the only way to reach a mutually acceptable solution providing for the self-determination of the Saharawi people under the UN Charter.
Before Horst Kohler, the UN had already appointed three mediators to try to settle the forty-six year old conflict in Western Sahara, in vain. They were the two Americans James Baker and Christopher Ross, and the Dutchman Peter van Walssun.