The EU-Morocco fisheries agreement remains in force until its expiry date set for July 2018, said Morocco’s Agriculture and Fisheries agreement in a comment following the verdict of the European Court of Justice (ECJ)
The agreement remains valid and European vessels will continue to operate in Moroccan waters, including off the Sahara coasts until the termination of the agreement in July 2018, Aziz Akhannouch made it clear in a statement to the press.
The Minister dispelled numerous claims propagated by the adversaries of Morocco’s territorial integrity. He said the verdict does not prohibit fishing in the coasts of the southern provinces, the Sahara.
He also noted that the verdict does neither mention the Polisario nor does it recognize the Algerian-backed and hosted puppet state, SADR.
Akhannouch added that negotiations between the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry and the EU will be conducted to renew the agreement.
The verdict, he said, discards the politicized opinion of the ECJ Adviser, Melchior Wathelet, who declared the deal invalid as it includes the Sahara.
The ECJ verdict on the agricultural agreement, issued last year, stated clearly that the Polisario is not concerned with the agreements signed between Morocco and the EU and that the separatist militia is not qualified to represent the Sahrawis.
Following the ECJ verdict, Morocco and the EU expressed in a joint statement willingness to safeguard and bolster their partnership as well as to negotiate a new fisheries deal upon expiry of the current agreement.
Morocco’s foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita, made it clear that the Sahara is an integral part of Morocco and that the Kingdom will never relinquish its sovereignty.