Turkey on Sunday said it supported a political solution to the Western Sahara issue.

“Turkey supports the efforts to achieve a just and lasting political solution to the Western Sahara issue within the scope of United Nations Security Council resolutions,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a written statement.

Aksoy added that Turkey is adhering to measures taken by Morocco to “ensure free movement of persons and goods in the Guerguerat buffer zone of the Morocco-Mauritania highway,” underlinign the importance of keeping the region open for passage.

Occupied by Spain until 1975, Western Sahara — a large territory in southern Morocco — has remained the subject of dispute between Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front for more than four decades.

After years of conflict, the two parties signed a UN-backed cease-fire in 1991.

The Polisario, a national liberation movement that seeks to end Morocco’s presence in Western Sahara, has long called for a popular referendum to decide the region’s political fate.

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