After the Moroccan Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries bragged a few days ago that Morocco would enter into negotiations to renew the fishing agreement with the European Union with a new rule, the European Commission slapped, Monday, the latter, after confirming the “difficulty” in extending the agreement that includes the waters of occupied Western Sahara, which will expire on July 17. current.
In a statement that hits the Moroccan minister’s words to the core, and turns them into mere pipe dreams, the European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fishing, Virginius Cinquivicius, said that extending the fishing agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco is “difficult and complicated”, given the decision that is expected to be taken, before the end of this year. , by the European Court of Justice.
In September 2021, the European Union Court had previously canceled the Partnership Agreement in the field of trade and marine fishing, which illegally includes Western Sahara, after an appeal filed by the Polisario Front, the sole and legitimate representative of the Saharawi people.
The European Commission had previously confirmed, last June, that there were no negotiations to renew the fishing agreement with Morocco, which includes occupied Western Sahara, pending the ruling of the European Court of Justice scheduled for the end of this year.
The Minister of Agriculture in the Akhannush Makhzen government had tried to shade internal public opinion and cover up an expected setback on the one hand, and absorb deferred popular anger on the other hand, in a contradictory statement, as he said, “We will negotiate with the European Union on a new basis,” but he went back to saying that The outcome of the renewal of the agreement is “unclear until now.”
And he added, “When the deadline for the end of the agreement reaches and the file is opened for discussion, we will know what we must do. We are ready for any eventuality.”
It is noteworthy that with the advent of July 17, 128 European ships will be forced to leave the Moroccan coast, including the Saharan territorial waters, with the end of the work of the agreement, which entered into force on July 18, 2019, for a period of four years.
It is worth noting that the seasons of plundering the natural resources of occupied Western Sahara, including fisheries, through the agreements and executive protocols concluded since 1988, between the Makhzen system and the European Union, extend to more than 30 years, at a time when the last renewal took place in 2019 for a period extending to the summer of the year current.
In December 2016, the European Court of Justice issued a decision stating that the partnership and free trade agreements between the European Union and Morocco cannot be applied to Western Sahara, stressing the “separate” and “different” status of this territory, which has been included since 1963 on the list of non-independent territories of the United Nations. .
The same court also ruled, at the end of February 2018, that the fishing agreement between the European Union and Morocco cannot be applied to Western Sahara and its adjacent waters, and canceled on September 29, 2021, the two agreements signed between the Moroccan regime and the European Union in 2019, according to two appeals filed by the Polisario Front. In the same year, due to their violation of the decisions of the European Court of Justice, especially the decision issued in December 2016, which confirmed that Western Sahara and Morocco are separate and distinct territories.
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