The European Parliament has not endorsed the proposal submitted by the Polisario Front, thus rejecting the recommendation to the 73rd United Nations General Assembly relating to the implementation of the European Court of Justice decisions and the change of the MINURSO – or the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara – mandate. Currently, MINURSO continues to monitor the ceasefire, reduces the threat of mines and provides logistical support to the UNHCR-led confidence building measures. The draft recommendation was dismissed by an overwhelming majority, thus pleasing the EU-Moroccan Parliamentary Commission.
“The rejection of this hostile amendment is the result of steady efforts by Morocco’s parliamentary and official diplomacy which once more stressed the primacy of the UN process in the settlement of the artificial dispute over the Sahara,” the joint commission commented. “The European Parliament’s decision is also showing a growing awareness of the maneuvers hatched by the enemies of Morocco’s territorial integrity,” the joint statement said.
On a different but related front, the European Parliament supported the Aviation Agreement with Morocco, which includes the disputed Western Sahara. The Commission said that the deal mirrored the EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement in territorial application – the deal that is being assessed by the agenda of the Court of Justice of the European Union for its compatibility with EU law over the inclusion of Western Sahara’s waters. Yet, the Greens and the EFA Group in the EU Parliament commented that the arguments put forward by the Commission are not convincing since the Aviation Agreement applies to the territory of Western Sahara and not to the maritime waters of the latter.