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Western Sahara: Fisheries

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to press for the exclusion of Western Saharan waters from any new agreement to replace the current EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement on its expiry. (244921)

As with previous fisheries agreements, the EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement applies to

“the Moroccan fisheries zone under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Morocco”.

The fisheries agreement does not in any way prejudice the issue of the status of Western Sahara. The UK continues to believe that progress towards a negotiated solution to the dispute in Western Sahara providing for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, is best achieved under the auspices of the United Nations. To this end and in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution (1813) of 30 April, the UK fully supports the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and his staff, and the negotiation process currently underway.