Ambassador of Algeria in Brussels welcomes position of EP Fishery Commission

Brussels, 26 March 2017 (SPS) - Algeria's ambassador in Brussels, Amar Belani, welcomed the "firm and enlightened" position of the European Parliament's Fisheries Commission after that of European Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, who said a few weeks ago that the EU will now take into account the "separate and distinct" status of the territory of Western Sahara in its exchanges with Morocco on renewable energy.

"This firm and enlightened position of the rapporteur, which I welcome, confirms that the Fisheries Commission should take into consideration the judgment of the Court of Justice of 21 December which concluded, in particular, that Morocco's sovereignty is not exercised and cannot be exercised in any way in the non-autonomous, separate and distinct territory of the Western Sahara," he told the APS.

Mr. Belani pointed out in this connection that the agreement between the EU and the Kingdom of Morocco on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products, processed agricultural products, fish and Fishery products "clearly states in Article 2 that its scope is strictly confined to the territory of the contracting parties, that is to the internationally recognized territory of Morocco."

"After the statement of the Commissioner Canete and the position taken by the Rapporteur of the Commission on fisheries, it is clear that the overall trend is the observation of the requirements of the Court of justice," he welcomed, regretting that "some EU member states as well as some MEPs, pro-Moroccan lobbyists in the European Parliament, are showing overwhelming activism to amend any legislative text that would be considered to be damaging to the interests of Morocco ".

"The declaration (on the exchange of renewable electricity) will be implemented with due regard for the separate and distinct status of the territory of Western Sahara under international law," affirmed, at the beginning of February, the European Commissioner in charge of  Action on Climate and Energy, Miguel Arias Canete, in his reply on behalf of the European Commission to MEPs Florent Marcellesi, Josep Maria Terricabras and Jill Evans, who urged him to exclude energy produced in Western Sahara of these exchanges.

The draft opinion of the Commission on Fisheries for the Commission on International Trade has been drafted in relation to the proposal of the European Council decision on the conclusion of the agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between The EU and Morocco on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products, processed agricultural products, fish and fishery products and amending the Euro-Mediterranean agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their member states, on the one part, and Morocco, on the other part.

The agreement, annexed to this exchange of letters, forms an integral part of the EU-Morocco association agreement, as Protocol No 6, underlines the fact that the Annexes to the Protocol contain 24 geographical indications on fishery products in Germany, France, Greece, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Poland and Sweden. (SPS)