First Sahara Wikileak leak: Sarkozy inked deal with OCP
First cable from US embassy mentions 3 billion Euro deals for Sarkozy, as French Western Sahara policy leans towards Moroccan position. Among the agreements signed by Sarkozy, was the nuclear deal with Moroccan phosphate plunderer OCP.
"Sarkozy and entourage completed nearly 3 billion Euros worth of commercial deals and military sales during the visit, including a naval frigate", noted the embassy in the document dated 29 October 2007, in relation to Sarkozy's visit to Morocco. The letter constitutes the first US embassy document on Western Sahara revealed by the controversial website Wikileaks.
The letter mentions specifically the agreement signed by French nuclear group Areva and National Phosphate Company (OCP). The deal was to extract uranium from Moroccan phosphoric acid.
OCP carries out the illegal mining in occupied Western Sahara, in violation of international law as described in the UN legal opinion from 2002. The government owned OCP carries out phosphate mining in both Morocco and Western Sahara.
At the same time, the US embassy noted how president Sarkozy through his statements annoyed the representatives of the Sahrawi people:
"Sarkozy’s remarks on Sahara appeared to move France closer toward the Moroccan position, and were embraced as such by most of the Moroccan press, which characterized the president’s remarks as a breakthrough for French policy on the Sahara question. (We understand the Polisario leadership has protested Sarkozy’s remarks.)", noted the US embassy in Rabat in the first confidential letter on Western Sahara published on Wikileaks today.
Morocco illegally occupies Western Sahara, claiming it as part of its own territory. No country in the world recognises Moroccan sovereignty in Western Sahara, a claim which was categorically rejected by the International Court of Justice in 1975.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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