The Polisario Front has shown this Friday its willingness to “find a formula” to “help” Spanish fishermen after the decision of the General Court of the European Union to annul the fishing agreement between the EU and Morocco for including the Occidental Sahara.
“We would like to find a formula to help fishermen”, said the Polisario representative for Europe and the EU, Oubi Bucharaya, at a press conference in Madrid, before stressing that “the court has established the framework for this possible cooperation.”
“Within this legal framework, there is every willingness to help,” he said, while emphasizing that the appeals presented to the European justice “were not against anyone”, but rather sought to ensure that Sahrawi rights were respected. .
In this way, Bucharaya has pointed out that “if the EU wants to continue doing business in Occidental SaharaThey already know who they have to address, which is the Polisario Front. “
Along these lines, the attorney for the Polisario Front before the Court of Justice of the European Union, Manuel Devers, has stressed that “there are devices for the Polisario to issue fishing licenses.”
“If the EU leaders come to their senses, the Polisario will find the mechanisms to achieve it,” said Devers, who has urged the Spanish fishing unions to “carefully read the sentences and get in touch” with the authorities. Sahrawis.
The lawyer has highlighted that “Western Sahara is not the only occupied territory in the European neighborhood” and has given as examples the cases of Palestine and Northern Cyprus, before stressing that “the European Commission approved regulations that affect the affected peoples to authorize economic activities in areas over which there is effective control. “
Thus, he has said that this framework can be “adapted” to Western Sahara and has argued that, since the ruling “recognizes the sovereignty of the Saharawi people over its waters”, there are “means” to “enforce the rights of the people, including by Spanish fishermen.”
Invalidity of Moroccan certificates
“Morocco, which does not have sovereignty over Saharawi waters, cannot issue Spanish fishermen certificates on unregulated catches,” explained Devers, who has stressed that these certificates “are a necessary condition for the products to be distributed in the European market. “.
For this reason, he stressed that “for a certificate to be valid it must be issued by a competent authority.” “It is not possible for Rabat to do it”, he said, before saying that the “modalities of action are several and to be explored”. “If the rights are not respected, actions could be taken,” he warned. “Respect the right of the Saharawi people and everything will be fine,” he said.
The Polisario has left open the door to the possibility of requesting the payment of compensations by the economic impact of the agreements, estimated at about one billion euros during the last two years, according to Devers.
“From a technical point of view, we can clearly ask for damages,” he argued, although he stressed that it is a decision to be taken by the Polisario. Thus, Bucharaya has confirmed that “clear that compensation can be requested”, before emphasizing that “consultations” are necessary for this.
Devers recalled that “two international agreements have just been annulled” and added that “it would be easy to recognize the right to payment of reparations.” “Everything will depend on the behavior of the European institutions,” he said.
Advises Spain not to resort
In another vein, Bucharaya has recommended to the Spanish Government not to appeal the ruling. “It is not a good option,” he said, while emphasizing that Madrid can do it without waiting for the community bloc to do so, given that it is part of the process.
Thus, he stressed that “the signs that are received from day one do not invite optimism that this time the recipe will be different” and explained that a resource would suppose “a wrong message to Morocco and the peoples of the region “, given that” it feeds the feeling of impunity in Morocco. “
“If there EU, and there Spain has an enormous responsibility, decides to continue to engage in the broken scheme of pampering Morocco and looking after only the interests of Morocco at any cost (…) they will win nine months with an appeal, but they know what the result is and they also know what it is the impact of continuing to challenge the decisions of their own justice to defend interests that are in a framework outside the law, “he stressed.
In this way, he has pointed out that the reaction of Morocco the court ruling “depends to a great extent” on the reaction of the EU. “If the EU really intends to abide by the decisions, Morocco will formulate its reaction or its way of dealing with the EU,” he said.
“If always the message that is transmitted from Brussels is that of the ‘spoiled son’ of the EU and have a special preference in relation to the rest of the countries and peoples of the region, surely Morocco will not feel any need to change its shape behavior, “he added.
Bucharaya has stated that at the moment “the scenario is totally different” and has affected that a resource “would contribute negatively” to the situation in Occidental Sahara and “the region as a whole”. “The recipes of the past have led us to where we are. We will have to try new recipes,” he defended.
On the other hand, he has stated that “bad relations between Spain and Morocco do not necessarily have to be a good scenario for the aspirations of the Saharawi people” and has asked Madrid to take advantage of its relations with Rabat “to pay off its debt with the people. Saharawi (…) and with all the peoples of the region “. “When Spain withdrew from Western Sahara without doing its homework, it left a situation that continues to poison relations between the countries of the region,” he said.
Bucharaya stressed that the court’s decision represents “a great victory for the Saharawi people and for the Polisario Front, but also for Europe and for justice in Europe.” “Canceling the agreements gave us the reason,” he praised.
Thus, he stressed that these are “sharp, clear decisions that profit cannot serve as a basis without the consent clearly expressed by the people of Western Sahara” and added that the verdict exposes “the fraudulent procedure carried out. by the Commission on the subject of consultations “.
In this way, it has explained that the failure “confirms from its previously established condition in the 2016 decision of the Polisario as a representative of Western Sahara “which” has a legal personality with the capacity to act before European and international courts.
“It is a huge advance for us”, highlighted Bucharaya, who has argued that “the renewal (of the agreement) in 2019 contributed in one way or another” to the situation of November 2020, when the ceasefire was declared broken and there was a “return to war “. “Rabat misinterpreted it,” he said.
On the other hand, Bucharaya stressed that the freedom of movement of the leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, “has nothing to do” with this Wednesday’s ruling and has once again thanked Spain for “the humanitarian gesture” of “welcome” the Saharawi leader to receive medical treatment for coronavirus.
“He came in difficult conditions,” he recalled. “Our leader has responded in the most positive way by agreeing to testify (…) in very critical conditions,” he said, before emphasizing that “the sentences speak for themselves.”
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