As expected, Powell also spoke about the need for a final and lasting solution to the Western Sahara dispute. ‘We believe this is the time for Morocco and Algeria to enter into serious discussions as to how to move forward,’ he said told reporters in Tunis. Powell indicated that he would bring up the subject during his visits to Morocco and Algeria (MEED 19:11:03).

The aim of the Powell’s visits, according to the US State Department, is to ‘confer with leaders in these countries on such issues as the war on terror, the situation in Iraq, [the] roadmap for Middle East peace, and promotion of political and economic reform through the Middle East Partnership Initiative, as well as bilateral issues’ (MEED 2:12:03).