Sahrawi civil society organizations express “deep concern” regarding EU-Morocco renegotiations

Brussels (Belgium), Feb 3, 2017 (SPS) - About a hundred organizations of the Sahrawi civil society expressed Saturday, their “deep concern” regarding the negotiations between the European Union (EU) and Morocco, to include products from Western Sahara in their trade agreements, without the consent of the Sahrawi people, condemning a “destructive and unsustainable” approach of the European commission.

“We express our deep concern regarding the ongoing negotiations between Morocco and the European Union to include Western Sahara in the trade agreements with Morocco without the consent of the Sahrawi people through its legitimate representative, the Polisario Front,” wrote these organizations coming from the occupied territories, liberated territories, refugee camps in Tindouf and the diaspora in a letter to the European Commission.

The organizations expressed “serious concerns” about the attitude of the European Commission, affirming that its persistent will to ignore or circumvent a decision of its highest jurisdiction “violates the fundamental rights of the Sahrawi people and allows the continued illegal exploitation of Western Sahara’s natural resources.”

The organizations of the Sahrawi civil society underlined, in this regard that to this day, “no serious examination of this negotiations process has been authorized,” given that the mandate granted by the Council of the European Union to the European Commission last May, to negotiate with Morocco, with an amendment to the text of the agreement liberalizing agricultural products was kept secret.

Regretting that the European executive has not made any attempts to engage with the Polisario Front as the legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people, the Sahrawi organizations recall that however, the Court of Justice of the European Justice (CJEU) ruled that no trade treaty between Morocco and the European Union can legally apply to Western Sahara except if the Sahrawi people consent to it. (SPS)