BRUSSELS – The Polisario Front "took note unsurprisingly but with consternation "of the decision of the Council of the European Union of 29 November 2018 adopting the EU / Morocco fisheries agreement, which includes an extension to the waters adjacent to the territory of occupied Western Sahara, said the Saharawi Minister delegate for Europe, Mohamed Sidati.
"The very principle of this agreement is unacceptable because it constitutes a flagrant violation of sovereignty.Of course, the Polisario Front challenges the terms of the agreement, its terms and financial counterparts, but these are only the consequences of the main question: the violation of Saharawi sovereignty, "added Mr. Sidati.
He recalled the evidence that the Saharawi people have a history that forges their unity and their independence vis-à-vis anyone, as recognized by the International Court of Justice in 1975. Western Sahara is inscribed since 1962 on the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, that is to say territories to be decolonized, and the United Nations has always approached the question from the angle of international law.
The reaction of the Polisario Front follows the decision of the Council of the EU which adopted Thursday the fisheries agreement concluded last July with Morocco. The text, which includes Western Sahara, has yet to be validated by the European Parliament.
Last February, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the EU / Morocco agreement violated the principle of self-determination of Western Sahara. In its 2016 ruling, the CJEU recalled that Morocco and Western Sahara are two distinct and separate territories and that Morocco, which is an occupying military power, can not exercise any act of sovereignty. There can be economic, commercial or other activities on the territory only with the consent of the people of Western Sahara.
== The EU should negotiate directly with the Polisario Front ==
Under these conditions, the European Union "was to negotiate directly with the Polisario Front, the only representative of the Saharawi people," said Sidati, but, he lamented, European officials have refused, and they seek to circumvent the decision of the CJEU. "
The Saharawi Minister Delegate for Europe stresses in this sense: "To circumvent the court decision, the Council of the European Union and the Commission fomented a process of extension of an international agreement to another territory , without having the least right, because this territory is exclusively under the sovereignty of the Saharawi people. "
"Such an extension, indeed, without the consent of the people of Western Sahara is null and void.The pseudo arguments about the benefits to the people are devoid of foundation, since there is a violation of sovereignty. Only the Saharawi people can say what is good for them, "he retorted, before insisting that" if the European Parliament ratifies this attack on sovereignty, the Polisario Front will bring a new petition for annulment before the court. European. "
"It is a question of principle, no modalities, we strongly denounce the financial counterparts who will still bring more than 52 million euros, per year, to Morocco to finance the colonization, to settle its occupation.This is as much spoliation of the Saharawi people, but what we refuse first is this violation of our sovereignty.
Our European interlocutors will have to learn to respect the sovereignty of the people of Western Sahara and the integrity of their territory, "said the Saharawi leader.
"Not wanting to respect or enforce the decisions of one's own judicial bodies is in itself an attack on the founding values of the European Union and its very credibility," he continued, stressing that "he Today, great efforts are being made, with the mediation of the personal envoy of the UN Secretary-General, Horst Koehler, to reach a peaceful solution to the long conflict of Western Sahara ".
"It so happens that the EU, which subscribes to this dynamic, is feverishly activating itself to impose agreements with Morocco extending illegally to occupied Western Sahara." This is likely to thwart the process. United Nations peace treaty in Western Sahara ", he concluded.