Western Sahara: European deputies call on Mogherini not to participate in Crans Montana Forum

Twenty four European deputies from four different parliamentary groups called on, Friday, the high Representative of the European Union (EU), Federica Mogherini, to suspend any official participation in the annual meeting of Crans Montana Forum, scheduled for March in Dakhla, in the Western Sahara territories occupied by Morocco.

The deputies’ call comes as a support to the initiative made by the parliamentary of the United Left (Izquierda Unida) Paloma Lopez, who is the vice president of the Solidarity Intergroup for Western Sahara.

In a letter, the 28 deputies warn against these international events (in reference to the Crans Montana froum), which “could give a wrong image of the nature of the occupation exercised by Morocco in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.”

“We must be clear to denounce, once again, Morocco’s attempts to forge international legitimacy to its occupation of Western Sahara. The African Union is opposed to this event and the United Nations refused to participate to it. Can this South-South Forum take place then?” said Lopez.

For the European deputy, Morocco tries “to sell the world an image of progress and development in their profession in the style of former colonial powers.” “Reality is different: terror, torture, persecution are part of the everyday life of the Sahrawi people in the occupied territories,” he said.

That is why, said the parliamentary, Morocco is opposed to the visit of the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and “continues to prevent the holding of the referendum on self-determination in Western Sahara.”

The European deputies also addressed a letter to Pierre-Emmanuel Quirin, presiden of the Crans Montana Froum, asking him to not to accept Morocco’s invitation for the holding of this annual meeting, scheduled from 17 to 22 March in occupied Dakhla, because it “goes against the rights and interests of the Sahrawi people and the principles of international law in Western Sahara as a non-autonomous territory.”

“Mogherini should send a clear message to the world: Morocco is isolated within the international community for its violations of the Sahrawi people’s sovereignty, the plundering of resources and the denial of the right to self-determination,” said the parliamentarians in their letter.