EU-Morocco fishing deal: CJEU’s decision confirms force leads nowhere

Bir Lahlou (liberated territories), July 28, 2018 (SPS) - Polisario Front’s Head of external relations M'hamed Khaddad said Thursday that "the latest decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has sent a very clear message about the strength of international law and confirmed that force will lead nowhere,” warning against the extension of the EU-Morocco fishing deal to the Sahrawi territories which will be appealed before the courts of the EU.

The Sahrawi official, also coordinator with the MINURSO, said that "CJEU’s decision on 19 July 2018 reiterated for the third time that Morocco has no sovereignty over Western Sahara and its maritime space", and entrenched "once again the Sahrawi people’s right to self-determination and consent to any agreement applicable to their territory and natural resources.”

Noting that the Polisario Front is a national liberation movement, the result of long Sahrawi resistance against various forms of foreign occupation, the CJEU stressed that "Western Sahara is not part of the territory of the Kingdom of Morocco" and that "the term Moroccan fishing zone does not include waters adjacent to the territory of Western Sahara.”

According to the same source, the CJEU categorically ruled out "any possibility for the European Union to include Western Sahara in its agreements with the Kingdom of Morocco, as such inclusion would constitute a serious and manifest violation of the right to self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.”

The CJEU’s decision follows the Polisario Front's appeal in March 2014 against the EU-Morocco fishing agreement. (SPS)

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