Western Sahara News

Renegotiation of EU-Morocco agreements: Polisario expresses “deep concern”

The Polisario Front has expressed to the European Commission its “deep concern” about the negotiations between the EU and Morocco to include products from occupied Western Sahara in their trade agreements without the consent of the Saharawi people, said Friday the Minister Saharawi delegate for Europe, Mohamed Sidati.
“During the meeting, we expressed our deep concern about the ongoing negotiations to include Western Sahara in the EU-Morocco trade agreement,” he told APS, confirming reports that an invitation addressed by the EU to the legitimate representative of the Saharawi people, the Poliario Front, to participate in the consultations conducted by the European executive in the context of negotiations for the amendment of the EU-Morocco agricultural liberalization agreement.
Mohamed Sidati, said that he welcomed the invitation of the EU executive, expressed his hope that this invitation would be “the first step towards a more constructive approach by the Commission” on the conflict in Western Sahara.
Citing a senior European official, “the EU has recognized the right of Polisario Front to participate in the renegotiation of this agreement following the judgment of the European Court of Justice 2016.” the UK site Africa Confidential said Friday
On 21 December 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a judgment clearly establishing that the EU-Morocco association and liberalization agreements did not apply to the territory of Western Sahara.
In its judgment, the CJEU stressed that if the agreement were to apply to it, it would require prior consent of the Saharawi people, that is to say the Polisario Front, recognized by the UN as the representative of the people of the Sahara Western since 1979.
A few months later, the Council of the EU grants the Commission a mandate to renegotiate the trade agreement with Morocco to comply with the CJEU ruling.
According to the Saharawi Minister, discussions with representatives of the European Commission focused on “a wide range of issues” and on “ongoing attempts to include Western Sahara in the EU-Morocco trade agreements without the consent of the Saharawi people to through its legitimate representative, the Polisario Front “.
In this regard, he said that he had expressed to the representatives of the European Commission his regrets at the “lack of a transparent, legal and credible process to obtain the consent of the Polisario Front as legitimate representative of the Saharawi people”.
Mohamed Sidati recalled, in this respect, that any economic agreement between the EU and Morocco that does not explicitly exclude Western Sahara from the scope of the agreement “will continue to reinforce the illegal occupation of the Saharawi territories by Morocco “, reaffirming its” confidence in EU law “and its” readiness to return to the European Court of Justice on such issues “

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