The Moroccan Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Youssef Amrani, says that the European Parliament is a “dinosaur” that obstructs efforts to reach a new EU-Morocco fisheries agreement.
At the 'Desayunos Informativos' hosted by Europa Press on Tuesday, Amrani was quoted saying that “it is difficult to work with the European Union because the European Parliament is a dinosaur”.
Though Amrani expressed the willingness of his government to reach a new deal with the EU, thereby allowing European vessels to fish in Moroccan waters, he went on to say that the European Parliament - which has to ratify any agreement - is a dinosaur preventing any progress.
However, the Moroccan diplomat stated also that the progress is being made and that a new protocol is on track. Amrani hailed the support of the fisheries sector to help reach a consensus. “The will to go forward exists. There are countries that are pushing, but the European Parliament also has something to say”, he explained.
It has been more than a year since the EU fishing fleet had to abandon the area, after the European Parliament had turned down the previous EU-Morocco fish accord for failing in terms of profitability and ecological sustainability. In addition, the Parliament has expressed its concern that the agreement was violating international law for including the waters of the Non-Self Governing Territory of Western Sahara - largely occupied by Morocco since 1975.
The former Legal Counsel to the UN Security Counsel, Mr. Hans Corell, comments on the EU's fisheries activities in Western Sahara.
Polisario has a case, but it should be pursued when the time is right, Court implies.
Notwithstanding four consecutive rulings of the EU's highest Court calling such a practice illegal, the European Parliament has just now voted in favour of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement that will be applied to the waters of occupied Western Sahara.