UN-led talks on Western Sahara end with plans to meet again

Horst Koehler, Personal Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations to the parties to the conflict in Western Sahara, arrives for a round tab

Horst Koehler, Personal Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations to the parties to the conflict in Western Sahara, arrives for a round tab

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, speaks during a press briefing about the final communique of the initial Roundtable on Western Sahara at the

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, speaks during a press briefing about the final communique of the initial Roundtable on Western Sahara at the

Mauritania's Foreign Minister Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed arrives for a round table on Western Sahara at the European headquarters of the United Nations

Mauritania's Foreign Minister Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed arrives for a round table on Western Sahara at the European headquarters of the United Nations

Khatri Addouh, leader of the Sahrawi delegation and Frente Polisario, arrives for a round table on Western Sahara at the European headquarters of the

Khatri Addouh, leader of the Sahrawi delegation and Frente Polisario, arrives for a round table on Western Sahara at the European headquarters of the

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. secretary-general's envoy for Western Sahara has wrapped up the first talks in six years over the future of the territory mostly controlled by Morocco, saying the sides have agreed to meet again early next year.

Former German president Horst Koehler, hailed "a first, but an important, step" toward resolving a decades-old standoff between Morocco and the independence-minded Polisario Front.

He spoke Thursday after two days of talks in Geneva involving a top Polisario envoy and foreign ministers of Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania over the future of the phosphates-rich territory.

Koehler announced plans to hold another such "round table" discussion in the first quarter of next year.

Morocco annexed the former Spanish colony in 1975 and fought the Polisario Front until a U.N.-brokered cease-fire in 1991.