Polisario Front urges EU to cease funding for projects taking place in Western Sahara

Brussels, Dec 5, 2016 (SPS) – Polisario Front Representative to the European Union Mohamed Sidati has urged the European Union to “take immediate steps to rectify Morocco’s use of EU funding in contravention of EU law, by immediately ceasing all funding for projects taking place in Western Sahara.”

In a letter Friday to EU High Representative Frederica Mogherini and EU Foreign Ministers, in a response to a report issued last week by Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW), Polisario’s EU Representative Mohamed Sidati wrote "EU sectoral support for Moroccan development projects must therefore not include Western Sahara, and must not facilitate Morocco’s illegal theft of Sahrawi natural resources.”

The WSRW report exposed in detail how Morocco has invested EU development funds in projects located in occupied Western Sahara. Under the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement, Morocco receives €14m annually for development in the fisheries sector. Nearly 60% of this funding in the past year has been spent in Western Sahara, in violation of EU law.

It should be recalled that in September, European Court of Justice Advocate-General Melchior Wathelet issued a legal opinion that EU trade deals with Morocco cannot apply the territory of Western Sahara. The ECJ will release a final ruling on the EU-Morocco trade deals on December 21 2016. No United Nations Member State recognises Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, which has been occupied since 1975. (SPS)

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