Rabat – In a phone conversation with Mauritania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale commented on this week’s UN-led Western Sahara discussion being held in Geneva.In his conversation, Hale said that the US supported efforts made by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Horst Kohler. According to Mauritania’s state-owned news agency AMI, Hale said that his country also backs any “initiative that aims to end the Western Sahara conflict,” hoping that an end will soon be reached. Read Also: Western Sahara: Guterres Urges All Parties to Engage in UN Discussion Without PreconditionsWeeks before the kick off of the roundtable and the adoption of Resolution 2240, Hale and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.Moroccan analysts speculated that Guterres might have been trying to convince the US to vote for a one-year extension for MINURSO. The Security Council, however, voted for a six-month extension for the mandate of MINURSO on October 31.The two-day roundtable discussion, which began yesterday and continues today, is held behind closed doors. Morocco’s delegation is led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita.None of the members of the delegations have commented on the roundtable yet. The delegation includes three Sahrawis: President of the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region Sidi Hamdi Ould Errachid; President of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region Ynja Khattat; and Fatima Adli, a member of the Smara municipal council.The presence of Sahrawis in the delegation angered pro-Polisario news outlets, including “Futuro Sahara.” The news outlet called the Sahrawis representing Morocco in the Geneva talks “traitors.”The three Sahrawis represents a significant message from Morocco as it strengthens the legitimate representation of Sahrawis.Moroccan analysts predict that the negotiations are unlikely to lead to future negotiations as long as Algeria does not admit playing a role in the conflict.
NEW YORK — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily on Friday:Symantec Corp., down $2.78 to $19.39The security software maker’s CEO abruptly resigned and the company issued a weak profit forecast for the current quarter.Wynn Resorts Ltd., down $6.44 to $129.89The casino operator reported a steep revenue decline from its Macau operation and its overall revenue fell short of Wall Street forecasts.Zillow Group Inc., up $1.84 to $35.41The real estate website operator reported a surge in revenue that helped narrow first quarter losses and prompted a solid revenue forecast.Guardant Health Inc., up $11.93 to $76The provider of oncology testing services beat Wall Street’s first quarter earnings forecast and raised its revenue forecast for the year.Booking Holdings Inc., up $93.82 to $1,829.85The online booking service reported an increase in room bookings during the first quarter that beat Wall Street forecasts.Mettler-Toledo International Inc., down $14 to $727.67The maker of precision instruments gave Wall Street a full-year profit forecast that falls mostly below expectations.The Boston Beer Co., up $14.89 to $347.83The brewer is buying Dogfish Head Brewery for $300 million in a cash and stock deal.Lyft Inc., down $4.09 to $51.09Shares of the ride-hailing company’s larger rival, Uber, faltered on their first day of trading on Wall Street.The Associated Press