Below is an unofficial translation, made by Western Sahara Resource Watch, of a resolution from the Executive Board meeting of The Liberal Party of Norway, November 8th, 2008. See original (in Norwegian) here. The campaign referred to below is to be found on the homepages of Western Sahara Resource Watch. ELDR refers to the European Liberal Democrats.
The Liberal Party of Norway demands an independent Western Sahara!
The Liberal Party of Norway supports the campaign calling for Western Sahara being excluded from the cooperation between the EU and Morocco.
The territory on the north-western shores of Africa is occupied by Morocco. In 1991, a ceasefire was declared between the liberation group Polisario and Moroccan authorities, under the precondition that the people of Western Sahara were to vote whether it was supposed to be declared an independent state in 1992. This referendum has not yet been arranged and a large part of the people currently lives in refugee camps in Algeria.
Morocco is now about to be granted a so-called “Advanced Status” cooperation with the EU. But so far, the EU has not tried to prevent occupied Western Sahara from being included in the cooperation. The Liberal Party of Norway is very concerned for what consequences it could have for the Sahrawis and for their struggle for an independent Western Sahara if the occupied territories be included into the EU cooperation. Morocco’s Minister for Foreign Affairs has recently stated that the EU partnership will lead to Morocco getting international political support in the Western Sahara issue. It can also lead to Western Sahara’s economy being even further integrated into the Moroccan economy, through international commercial participation and possibly European aid arrangements.
The Liberal Party of Norway: • Joins the campaign with the goal of having Western Sahara excluded from the so-called “Advanced Status” cooperation, which Morocco is about the be granted by the EU. • Calls on the Norwegian government to put pressure on the EU to make sure that the occupied Western Sahara be kept outside of the EU-Moroccan cooperation. • Calls on the ELDR to join the campaign.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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