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EU and Morocco make progress in amendments to agricultural trade agreement

The European Union (EU) and Morocco reported that progress has been made in the negotiation of the amendments to be made to the agricultural trade agreement signed by both parties in 2012, on which European justice ruled last December that it is not applicable to Western Sahara.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini pointed out in a statement released after receiving Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita that the meeting is one of many between the two sides "aimed at improving the terms of their association."

"We can confirm the progress made in the current negotiations, carried out with a view to amending the agricultural agreement protocols between the EU and the Kingdom of Morocco," stated the European diplomat's office, explaining that both Mogherini and Bourita expressed their "determination to complete the process as soon as possible."

The EU External Action Service added in its communiqué that the meeting also served to address "the common challenges of Mediterranean countries and African countries, which both countries said to be willing to address jointly."

The European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on 21 December 2016 that the pact signed in 2012 is valid because it does not expressly mention its application in Western Sahara, territory that EU law does not consider part of the Alawi kingdom.

That decision partially invalidated the agreement in the part that affects Western Sahara, since the court of Luxembourg considered that the Union did not verify if the exploitation of the resources had an impact on the population of that old Spanish colony, as claimed by the Polisario Front.

Since then, Brussels and Rabat have held technical and political meetings to try to update the agreement, making sure it adheres to EU legislation.

Source: EFE

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