New illegal EU-Morocco fish talks being pushed through
Without consulting with the Saharawi people in Western Sahara, the EU will next week try to conclude the talks on EU-Morocco fish deal offshore the occupied territory, under same terms as the one that was rejected by the European Parliament in 2011.
"Clearly in violation of international law", stated Kofi Annan's former legal chief about the 2006-2010 EU-Morocco fish deal in Western Sahara.
Now a similar agreement is in the pipeline. No effort has been made by the European Union to consult with the Saharawi people, thus making the agreement already in violation of international law.
The Spanish government is pushing hard to force through the deal during the 8th and 9th of November, as the EU will meet with Moroccan officials in Rabat. Spain is reportedly seeking the same terms – fisheries access and payments – in the previous Protocol to the EU’s Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Morocco, according to an interview in TVE.
"Western Sahara Resource Watch calls on the EU to support the efforts of the UN to solve the conflict of Western Sahara, by refraining from entering into illegal deals with the occupying power covering the disputed territory. The timing of EU's new negotiations could not be worse, as the Ban Ki-Moon's personal envoy is on a tour in the region to kick-start the peace talks", stated Erik Hagen, chair of Western Sahara Resource Watch.
"If the Saharawis are not consulted and there is no mechanism to ensure they benefit, the agreement should specifically exclude the waters of Western Sahara, as other international trade agreements with Morocco do", Hagen stated.
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.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
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