Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, on behalf of the Commission on 4 August 2016 came with a clarification that could have consequences for the EU's trade with occupied Western Sahara.
Mrs. Mogherini stated that three audits which the EU Food and Veterinary Office, had planned in Morocco in 2016 had been postponed, while a fourth would not visit Western Sahara.
It is unclear to Western Sahara Resource Watch what impact this decision has on the trade itself in products from Western Sahara. The Union has strict sanitary requirements, and producers that do not possess the right approvals cannot sell their products in the EU.
In addition, Mrs. Mogherini commented that an erroneous map published on the website of the EU's food agency, "has been corrected according to the United Nations practices and standards as well as international law".
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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