Leader of the Sahrawi delegation and Frente Polisario Khatri Addouh (C) attends a press briefing following two days of talks on the Western Sahara region, a disputed region since 2012, on December 6, 2018 in Geneva. / AFP / Fabrice COFFRINI
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The U.N. envoy for Western Sahara said Thursday that a peaceful solution to the decades-long conflict in the region was possible, after the parties met for the first talks since 2012 .A former Spanish colony, phosphate-rich Western Sahara sits on the western edge of the vast eponymous desert, stretching around 1,000 kilometers along the Atlantic coastline, a prime fishing region.Awaiting a settlement, between 100,000 and 200,000 refugees live precariously in camps near the town of Tindouf in western Algeria, not far from the Moroccan and Western Sahara borders.The last direct talks were launched by the U.N. in 2007 but collapsed five years later over the territory's status and the proposed referendum.
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