EU-Morocco fishing deal: US Western Sahara Foundation welcomes ECJ decision

Washington (United States), March 3, 2018 (SPS) - US Western Sahara Foundation welcomed Friday the European Court of Justice's ruling on the European Union's fishing agreement with Morocco, stating that it does not apply to Western Sahara and reaffirming Saharawi people's inalienable right to self-determination.

"US Western Sahara Foundation welcomes European Court of Justice's recent ruling on the EU-Morocco's fishing agreement," the foundation's chairwoman Suzanne Scholte said, adding that "Once again, we see courts reaffirming the October 16, 1975 ruling by the International Court of Justice which denies Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara."

Scholte said the United States does not recognize Morocco's alleged sovereignty over Western Sahara, noting that the occupied Saharawi territories are excluded from US-Moroccan free trade agreement signed in 2004.

"According to the international law, the African Union recognizes Western Sahara as a sovereign country and the ECJ reaffirmed on February 27 that Western Sahara is not part of Morocco," the human rights activist stressed.

She added that the ECJ "has ruled illegal any agreement with Morocco on Western Sahara's resources and reaffirmed Saharawi people's right to self-determination."

Scholte said "it is time for the international community to defend the application of the international law" and put an end to Morocco's defiance of the whole world.

"We regret that the French government, who is supposed to defend liberty, equality and fraternity, continues to be the main country responsible for Morocco's illegal behavior, the occupation and brutal treatment of Saharawi people in their home country, Western, Sahara." (SPS)