Exclusive: Algeria’s last briefing to Polisario prior to New York informal talks

Unable to move to New York, the Ambassador of Algeria in Washington, Abdallah Baali, has been generous with his advice, via videoconference, to the team of tacticians and technicians called out by Algiers to “support” members of the Polisario Front coming to participate in the second round of informal negotiations with Morocco. Baali has been strict with the negotiators “we should continue to defend our self-determination creed, excluding any solution of a “Dutch” origin (referring to Peter Van Walsum, former mediator for the Sahara who pleaded in favor of a wide autonomy for the Sahara.)”.
Officially, Algeria participates in the negotiations only as an observer, and keeps reiterating that it is not “an involved party”. Yet, it is the senior executives of the Algerian Foreign Affairs Ministry, as well as the representatives of the Algerian Military Intelligence who orient the course of informal discussions.

In fact, Algiers has decided to limit the beginning of debates to technical and legal points and to avoid as much as possible to discuss the situation of the Sahrawi people living in Tindouf camps. Algerians are afraid that the human rights issue, which they try to include in the Minurso area, will be in fact a time bomb, as Morocco is regularly requesting that an investigation committee be hastened in camps to make a census of the international aid misappropriations. Moreover, the Algerian “technical advisers” have asked the members of the Polisario negotiating team to refuse sharing a meal with Moroccans, as they shared it last time during the Manhasset negotiations. No significant progress is foreseen at the end of these two days of negotiations…



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