Sweden will vote no
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"In my opinion, we cannot vote for an agreement that is in violation of international law", Swedish minister of agriculture, Eskil Erlandsson, stated in parliament this afternoon regarding tomorrow's vote in the Council of Ministers. More states are expected to follow, in trying to stop the continued illegal and unethical EU fisheries agreement in occupied Western Sahara.
Published: 17.02 - 2011 15:08Printer version    
"I will seek a mandate from the Swedish parliament to vote no for this agreement. In my opinion, we cannot vote for an agreement that is in violation of international law. I hope the parliament can give me such a mandate", Swedish Minister of Agriculture, Eskil Erlandsson, stated in Swedish parliament today.

"Regarding the agreement with Morocco, it is obvious for me that all EU agreements, including fisheries agreements, shall be in accordance with international law. This applies naturally also for EU's fisheries agreement with Morocco. Therefore, one year ago, I wrote to Fisheries Commissioner Damanaki, asking for an analysis regarding the environmental, financial and social effect of the agreement, as well as whether the agreement fulfils the prerequites of international law. I have also brought up this issue in a number of meetings with the Commissioner. Without, so far, any statement showing that the fisheries agreement with Morocco is in line with international law, and that the people of Western Sahara are benefiting from it, I see it as very hard to accept a continuation of the fisheries", the minister said.

"Without these analysis, we will not vote for a continuation", he stated.

See the statements from the Swedish minister in parliament's web TV here (in Swedish):  
http://ripa.riksdagen.se/ripa.fcgi?op=playpgm&pgm_id=1111102170076762511

Earlier today, in a letter to the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, 15 Swedish MEPs from almost all political parties called the minister to vote against the agreement.

    


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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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