Morocco and Western Sahara’s independence movement held two days of talks in New York with no breakthrough in the 32-year-old dispute. The meeting between the officials from Rabat and the Algeria-based Polisario Front was overseen by a UN mediator. Morocco annexed the territory of 260,000 people after Spain withdrew from its North West African colony in 1975. Morocco proposed autonomy under its sovereignty, while Polisario wanted a referendum with independence an option.
Talks broke down with the sides agreeing to meet again. However the gulf between the parties appeared as wide as ever with Morocco urging Polisario to stop “clinging to plans and proposals that proved inapplicable.” Polisario on the other hand said Morocco must end its repeated violations of human rights, in what they call, the occupied territories of Western Sahara.