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Western Sahara calls for more UN interest

12 June 2013, 12:57

New York - Western Sahara's pro-independence leader is pressing for greater UN involvement in the territorial dispute after a US proposal for human rights monitoring floundered.

Polisario Front Secretary-General Mohamed Abdelaziz says he met with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and "invited him to give more interest, more attention to Western Sahara" and to visit the region.

A UN statement said Ban urged Abdelaziz "to remain constructively engaged" with the UN chief's envoy to Western Sahara. Ban also "underlined his continued strong interest in respect for human rights in Western Sahara".

Abdelaziz met earlier this week with US lawmakers in Washington. He expressed frustration two months after objections from Morocco and its ally France prompted the US to abandon the proposal to give a UN peacekeeping force a mandate to monitor human rights in the region.

- AP


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