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UN envoy travels to Mauritania to discuss Sahara conflict

Staffan de Mistura was received on Monday in the capital Nouakchott
REUTERS/DENIS BALIBOUSE  -   El enviado especial de la ONU, Staffan de Mistura

REUTERS/DENIS BALIBOUSE  -   UN Special Envoy, Staffan de Mistura

The UN Secretary-General's personal envoy for Western Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, was received on Monday in Nouakchott by the Mauritanian President, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, a Mauritanian diplomatic source told Efe.

De Mistura landed on Sunday in the Mauritanian capital after his visit last week to Algiers and the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, in southwestern Algeria, and did not make any statement after his meeting with Ould Ghazouani.

However, the Mauritanian diplomatic source said the discussions focused on the results of the UN envoy's visits to the region and on the role of Nouakchott in facilitating a solution to the conflict.

She added that Mauritania, which officially recognises the Saharawi state, recalled during the meeting its "neutral" position in the dispute.

De Mistura, who was appointed to his post in October 2021, travelled to Rabat last July and cancelled the visit he had planned for the first time to Western Sahara, administered by Morocco.

Mauritania, where the Polisario Front has no diplomatic representation, is home to a large Sahrawi community to which the authorities in Nouakchott provide many facilities.