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21 October 2008 - Statement by Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert, at the 4th Committee of the 63rg UNGA

Item 37 - Western Sahara. European Union Statement

Mr. Chairman,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.

The Candidate Countries Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate, Albania, as well as Ukraine, align themselves with this declaration.

The European Union welcomes the consensual adoption of the resolution, introduced by the Chairman, on the situation concerning Western Sahara and commends the parties for their efforts.

The European Union reaffirms its support for the Secretary-General’s efforts to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

The European Union expresses its full support for the Manhasset negotiations which were launched in 2007 with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1754. It also gives its full support to the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1813 adopted on 30 April 2008, which inter alia calls on the parties to show realism and a spirit of compromise and to engage in substantive negotiations.

The European Union welcomes the commitment of the parties to continue to show political will and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue, in order to enter into a more intensive phase of negotiations, in good faith and without preconditions, taking note of efforts and developments since 2006, thus ensuring implementation of Security Council resolutions 1754, 1783 and 1813 and the success of negotiations.

The European Union believes that a return to the situation prior to the adoption of Resolution 1754 of 30 April 2007 would be a major setback for hopes of resolving this conflict and would prolong an unacceptable situation for the population, especially in refugee camps.

The European Union believes that the construction of a united, stable and integrated Maghreb is largely dependent on finding a solution to the Western Sahara conflict./.



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