European Commission only encourages Moroccan occupation, says Sidati

Brussels (Belgium), July 22, 2018 (SPS) - Sahrawi delegate minister for Europe, Mohamed Sidati, said Sunday that the European Commission which agreed with Morocco about a text on the Fisheries Agreement including Western Sahara waters "only encourages the Moroccan occupation of the Sahrawi territories."

Such attitude puts the European Union credibility in doubt.

"Morocco steals the resources of Western Sahara people, who largely live in exile and in poverty, deprived of their land and sea. And the European Commission is accomplice to this robbery," Sidati told APS, after the European Commission and Morocco agreed on 20 July on a fisheries agreement text that includes Western Sahara waters, thus violating the decision of the EU Court of Justice of 18 February 2018.

The Sahrawi official and member of the Polisario Front’s national secretariat added by "negotiating with Morocco on Western Sahara-related matters, the EU Commission, which affirms respecting the UN-led peace process and not willing to influence it, merely encourages the Moroccan occupation of the territory : it actually hampers the process led by UN envoy Horst Kohler from succeeding."

"It is the credibility of the EU which is at stake here," said Sidati, saying in this regard that "the Union’s Member States and the Members of its Parliament must know it. Not only they must not ratify this shameful draft agreement, they must call on the Union to discuss the resources-related matters with the only legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people, namely the Polisario Front."

"When we know that the catches of European boats in the Sahrawi waters, in recent years, account for more than 91% of the total European catches negotiated with Morocco - less than 9% of them being made in the Moroccan waters - we cannot but be indignant to hear the Spanish Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries hope that Spanish boats will soon be able to fish again in Moroccan waters!," the Sahrawi Minister added.

Henceforth, insisted Sidati," when the EU Commission celebrates the improvements introduced to the fisheries agreement text in order to maximize the benefits for the populations living in the concerned areas, complying with the principles of the sustainable and fair management of the fishing resources, we only see lie and hypocrisy."

He insisted that "neither Western Sahara nor the waters adjacent to it are part of Morocco or its exclusive economic zone". (SPS)

062/SPS/APS