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The holding of the initial Geneva Round Table on Western Sahara on 5 and 6 December was the first meeting in six years involving direct talks. This demonstrates the renewed efforts undertaken by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and his Personal Envoy Horst Köhler to solve the Western Sahara dispute and to convene the parties and neighbours in a spirit of openness and mutual respect.
The participation by all delegations and the announcement of a second meeting in the first quarter of 2019 show that all participants share a readiness for further engagement under the auspices of the UN. This momentum must be used and talks actively pursued in a spirit of compromise.
The Geneva talks rightly placed a strong emphasis on essential issues such as regional cooperation, job creation, regional development, stability and security as well as youth. The European Union is ready to contribute to measures that can create a positive climate for the talks, as a concrete translation of our complete support for the UN efforts.