Third round of EU-Morocco DCFTA talks taking place now
The European Commission and Morocco are currently in Brussels for a third round of negotiations to obtain a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. Such an agreement will not only integrate Morocco’s economy into the EU single market, but also that of occupied Western Sahara.
The meeting kicked off on Monday, and is expected to take the entire week.
A study on behalf of the European Commission concluded that the DCFTA would particularly be important for sectors as agriculture, renewable energy, textiles and offshoring of business support services.
The meeting coincides with the European Parliament’s decision to endorse the EU-Morocco Fisheries Protocol, which opens for fishing in the waters of occupied Western Sahara. The Parliament’s approval lead to demonstrations in El Aaiun, the capital of occupied Western Sahara, where Moroccan police brutally clashed with Saharawi protesters denouncing the EU’s plans to fish in their waters without as much as asking their opinion on the matter. Sources state that an estimated 100 Saharawis got injured during the police intervention.
In spite of incessant and clear calls of the Saharawi people to be included in the negotiation process on their own country, both on fisheries and free trade, the European Commission appears reluctant to do so, once again inviting only Morocco to sit at the table.
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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