EU-Morocco Agreement: WSRW Declines an Invitation to Participate in Consultations
The Western Sahara Observatory for Natural Resources (WSRW) declined an invitation from the European Union (EU) to take part in a consultation meeting on trade negotiations between the EU and Morocco, because of the ” lack of clarity “on the purpose of the meeting, said the observatory in a statement.
Invitation by the EU Foreign Affairs Council to take part in a consultation process on the EU-Morocco trade negotiations involving Western Sahara, WSRW refused the invitation, saying the approach is “not in line” with EU law. to the self-determination of the Saharawi people and their right to give their consent to everything concerning their territory.
The observatory claimed to be “open to dialogue” with EU bodies as it has always been, but said it was “concerned about the lack of clarity on the purpose of the meeting”.
According to WSRW, “an agreement has already been initialed” with Morocco without the Polisario, the only representative of the people of Western Sahara, being invited beforehand to take part in the discussions to give its opinion to an agreement that involves its territory.
Western Sahara Resource Watch wants to maintain a close dialogue with all EU institutions and Member States, as we have done in the last decade, but we will continue to do so in the future. We have refused a proposal for a meeting with the European Council for Foreign Affairs, “said Sylvia Valentin, President of the Observatory.
In his correspondence to the EU Foreign Affairs Department published on its website, WSRW explained that while the stakeholder consultation initiative is “commendable”, the process itself is “useless in current state of affairs “.
It recalls that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held in its judgment of 21 December 2016 that the consent of the representatives of the people of Western Sahara must be obtained in the conclusion of any agreement concerning its occupied territory.
The Observatory explained that it saw “no use” to consult anyone now that “the negotiations are over, the text concluded and initialed with the Government of Morocco that does not represent the people of Western Sahara”.
“It is clear that no consent of the Saharawi people has been given as required by the CJEU. We do not see the value of consultation on an agreement that would not be approved by the legitimate population of the occupied territory” said the Observatory.
He supports his remarks by the reaction of the people of Western Sahara expressed in a letter from several Sahrawi organizations, unanimously condemning the approach of the European Commission.
WSRW concluded that it refused to contribute to “what appears to be an attempt to legitimize a process that has concluded an agreement involving the resources of an occupied territory, initialed with a government of another country that has no sovereignty law on Western Sahara, without even asking the opinion of the colonized people before the beginning of the negotiation process “.