Swedish MPs demands stopping EU agreement with Morocco

Several Swedish parliamentarians from one of the parties in the Swedish government, have motioned that the Swedish Government should work to prevent the EU from signing any new agreements or agreements of advanced status with Morocco "as long as the country occupies Western Sahara".
Published: 19.11 - 2008 17:29Printer version    
In their motion 2008/09: U276 to Parliament, Mrs Agneta Berliner and her fellow liberal parliamentarians state that "Morocco is an occupying power. Since 1975 the country is occupying its neighbour Western Sahara and is conducting assaults on the Sahrawi people".

The Folkpartiet (fp) is part of the Swedish coalition government, and has for several years urged for the Sahrawi people's right to self-determinatino. The current Swedish minister for EU affairs, Mrs. Cecilia Malmström, is of the same party. She has earlier demanded that the government should recognize the Sahrawi Arabic Democratic Republic.

The 4 parliamentarians conclude that "it is an occupation that violates the principle of sovereignty and which has been condemned by the UN. According to a UN resolution a referendum should have taken place in 1992 in which the Saharawi people would take a stand on their country's future, but Morocco has still not allowed the vote to take place. Negotiations to obtain a change has basically stood still since 2004."

Despite this, the EU has over the years included, inter alia, association agreement with Morocco, which has benefited the country's economy which is dependent on the European market. Morocco's current
objective in its relations with the EU is to become an "advanced partner", which would further deepen cooperation between the Union and the kingdom both financially and security wise.

Reactions from the EU has notably come from Commissioner Benita Fererro-Waldner and French President Nicolas Sarkozy who have predicted that the proposed status to become a reality.

"If the EU accepts such a status on cooperation, we would further legitimize and finance the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara. The current partnership agreement has apparently not made Morocco prepared to comply with international law. However, the EU has a key role to play to safeguard the right of the Sahrawi people to decide themselves about their future in accordance with international law. The EU should therefore condition any further agreements with Morocco so that the
occupation of Western Sahara ends", they write.





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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