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Western Sahara: MEPs call on Morocco to comply with international law

APS - 10 February 2017

BRUSSELS- European MPs called Thursday, in Brussels, Morocco to respect its international commitments and to comply with the international law concerning the issue of Western Sahara, denouncing the latest warnings to the European Union (EU) on the implementation of the agriculture agreement signed in 2012.

The European deputy Maria Gimenez Barbat, who spoke in a meeting of the delegation for the relations with Maghreb countries, said she is “convinced” that Morocco, which recently joined the African Union, “will be able to meet the objectives and principles of the Constitutive Act of the African Union,” notably to the points B of the articles 3 and 4 of this Act.

In an exchange of views with Morocco’s ambassador to EU Ahmed Reda Chami, the Euroepan MP reminded Morocco of its obligations in accordance with the provisions of AU Constitutive Act that it signed to join this African body.

In this regard, she underlined that AU Constitutive Act stipulates clearly that the Union’s objectives are to “defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its member States.”�

While broaching the issue of Western Sahara’s natural resources management, Gimenez Barbat called for the implementation of the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) which excludes definitively the territory of Western Sahara from the scope of the association and liberalisation agreements concluded between EU and Morocco.

For her part, Euro MP Marie Christine Vergiat called for the implementation of CJEU’s decision, made on 21 December 2016.

“I totally agree with what Barbat said,” she underlined, affirming that she “shares” with her “cautions about the statements of the Moroccan minister of Agriculture.”

“I think that the words (used by Moroccan minister) were a little strong compared to the serenity necessary to debates, notably concerning issues of peoples,” she said.

Calling for the respect of the international law, Vergiat expressed her support to the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete.

Canete affirmed, few days ago, that EU will, from now on, take into account the “distinct and separate” status of the territory of Western Sahara in its exchanges with Morocco in terms of renewable energies.