Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has reiterated his country's keenness to continue to support the Saharawi people to realise their right to self-determination and independence.
In a letter addressed to the head of the Polisario Front, Ibrahim Ghali, on the occasion of the 41st anniversary of the unilateral founding of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Bouteflika called on the international community to assume its responsibility and resolve the Western Sahara dispute through a UN referendum.
"The international community has an obligation to carry out its responsibility and to accelerate the creation of a legitimate solution to this case within the framework of the UN in order to enable the Saharawi people to realise their right to self-determination" the president told Ghali. "I reiterate to you Algeria's support and endorsement, and I assure you that we will continue to strive to help the Saharawi people to realise their right to self-determination through a free and impartial referendum under the auspices of the UN."
The UN, Algeria and Mauritania have been supervising negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario Front in search of a solution to the dispute over the Western Sahara. Spain's colonial administration of the territory ended in 1976. Fighting later broke out between Morocco and the Polisario Front, who both signed a ceasefire agreement in 1991.
While Morocco claims ownership of the Western Sahara, the Polisario Front has proposed a self-determination referendum to decide the region's fate. The Polisario proposal is supported by neighbouring Algeria.