Council of Grand Canary rejects decision to delimit maritime borders between Morocco and Canary Islands

Madrid, July 30, 2017 (SPS) - The Grand Canary City Council, headed by the political parties of the Canary Islands and the Socialist Party (PSOE), rejected during its plenary meeting on Friday the decision of Morocco to delimit its maritime borders off the Canary Islands by integrating the waters of Western Sahara, said the head of international solidarity, Carmelo Ramirez.

This decision "seriously affects the Canary Islands by the proximity of Western Sahara, about 100 kilometers, with the consequences it can have on the economy and the stability of the territory of the islands," Ramirez said. He also referred to the probable existence of rare hydrocarbons and minerals such as tellurium in the waters between the Western Sahara and the Canary Islands "which arouses interest in Morocco, He underlines.

The Government of Morocco seriously infringes international law since the territorial waters of Western Sahara do not fall under its sovereignty, as it is considered a non-autonomous territory illegally occupied by Morocco.

In its motion the Council of Grand Canary emphasizes that the Moroccan decision "violates several resolutions such as UN resolution 1514 which recognizes the right of self-determination of the Sahrawi people and several other resolutions of the UN Security Council which recognize the right of self-determination of the Sahrawi people in addition to the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union which has excluded trade agreements between the EU and Morocco which are not applicable to Western Sahara. "These repeated violations of international law," Ramirez said, "demand a response from the UN and the EU, which must force the Moroccan government to abide by the rules."

While rejecting in its motion this Moroccan decision, which includes the territorial waters of Western Sahara, which is not within its sovereignty, the Council of Grand Canary demands the Spanish government to "denounce this situation and force Morocco to comply with international law".

The approved motion also urges the Government of the Canary Islands to "monitor this issue closely" and calls for respect for the rights of the Sahrawi population, in particular its request for a referendum on self-determination. The text adopted by the Grand Canary Council also calls on Morocco to "stop violating the human rights of the Sahrawis living in the occupied territories and stop the plundering of the natural resources of Western Sahara".

At the beginning of July, the Moroccan government approved a bill and a decree to delimit the maritime border off the Canary Islands by integrating the waters of Western Sahara. This decision unilaterally initiated by Morocco has been strongly criticized and denounced by many personalities and Spanish political parties. (SPS)