New illegal EU-Morocco fish talks being pushed through

Western Sahara Resource Watch | 29.10 - 2012

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.

WSRW wrote last week that the talks would take place 3 November. The date is now slightly changed.

"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.

"Any EU-Morocco deal that includes Western Sahara would be in flagrant violation of internatinoal law", stated the President of the Western Sahara republic in a meeting with the Irish minister of fisheries last week.

source: WSRW