Commissioner Joseph Borg DG Fisheries and Maritime Affairs European Commission
Brussels, 6 July 2004
It has come to our knowledge that the European Union is going to conclude a fishing agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco in the near future.
For this reason, I would like to address you on behalf of the Intergroup on Western Sahara, which is a cross-party group and works for defending peace and justice for the people of Western Sahara.
I would like to draw your attention to the political and legal implications that the European involvement may have, given the fact that the other party to the agreement will be the Kingdom of Morocco, a country that continues to occupy illegally large parts of Western Sahara. Western Sahara is still a Non-Self-Governing Territory waiting to be decolonised.
Morocco has always sought to legitimise its illegal occupation of Western Sahara by encouraging and implicating international and multinational corporations in the exploration and exploitation of the natural resources of the Territory against the will of its owners, the Saharawi People.
In order to avoid any ambiguity and to ensure full compliance with international legality and UN relevant resolutions regarding Western Sahara, I would like to call upon the European Union to ensure that the scope of its agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco be exclusively limited to the internationally recognised borders of this country and should in no way involve the territorial waters of Western Sahara.
With best regards,
Karin Scheele Member of the European Parliamen President of the Intergroup on Western Sahara
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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