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Western Sahara

Yearbook 1997

Western Sahara. In 1997, it appeared to mean an opening in the locked position between Morocco and V. US Secretary of State James Baker's appointment to the UN Special Envoy for the Moroccan-Western Sahara issue quickly lifted the high-level meetings and negotiations. In April, Baker visited Polisario's headquarters in Algeria as well as Morocco and Mauritania to discuss the conflict. In June, there was a breakthrough in the 22-year-old dispute when direct talks at the highest level began, and in September the parties agreed on how the referendum should go. A census for the vote began on December 1, and just over a year later, the vote will take place.

In November, MINURSO (UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) was extended the mandate to take responsibility for the referendum.

During the year, both Guinea-Bissau and Chad and Togo withdrew their recognition of V. as a state. It was speculated as to whether Moroccan pressure contributed to this action.

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