Statement by Mr. Petr Iliichev, Chargé d'Affaires, at the Security Council on the situation concerning Western Sahara
The Russian delegation voted in favour of resolution 2351 (2017), which extends the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara. The Security Council’s unified position should serve to send to the sides in the Western Sahara conflict a very strong signal with regard to the need to begin to swiftly move towards resuming direct talks between Morocco and the Polisario Front.
It is our view that overcoming antagonism and achieving a fair and lasting solution is possible only through political means in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.
The final formula must be acceptable to Morocco as well as to the Polisario, and it must provide for the self-determination of the peoples of Western Sahara in the framework of the procedures in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. In that context, we think it is important that the new Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara do his utmost to resume the political process.
In conclusion, allow me to underscore that the persistent conflict in Western Sahara plays into the hands of various extremist forces, which in turn has an adverse impact on the military and political situation in the entire region.