Houston Agreement

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The Houston Agreement was the result of negotiations between the Polisario Front and Morocco on the organization of a referendum, which would constitute an expression of self-determination for the people of Western Sahara, possibly leading to full independence or integration within Morocco. The talks were conducted during 1997 in Houston, United States, under the auspices of United Nations representative James Baker, using the framework of the 1991 Settlement Plan. The agreement was supposed to lead to a referendum in 1998, after it had been prevented from taking place in 1992 as originally envisioned. This never happened, and the Houston Agreement produced few tangible results. From about 2000, the negotiations on the future of Western Sahara turned instead to the Baker Plans. Baker Plan I of 2001 was accepted by Morocco but rejected by the Polisario Front, while the Baker Plan II of 2003 was rejected by Morocco but accepted by Algeria, the Polisario, and the United Nations Security Council.

See also