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Agriculture agreement with Morocco still valid; EU Foreign Policy Chief assures

Agriculture agreement with Morocco still valid; EU Foreign Policy Chief assures

Morocco

The European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief has assured Morocco that its agricultural agreements with the bloc remain in force.

The assurance comes days after Morocco announced it was severing all ties with the EU following a ruling by the European Court of Justice on its agricultural agreement with the European bloc.

The EU Court ruled that the agricultural agreement which included the disputed territory of Western Sahara, was illegal. The former Spanish colony is controlled by Morocco but the separatist group Polisario has also laid claim to it.

During a visit to the Moroccan capital on Friday for talks, the EU’s Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, indicated the EU would continue its dealings with the North African country in spite of the court’s ruling.

The visit was an opportunity for the two parties to take stock of their bilateral relations as well as discuss issues of common interest.

Addressing the press after the meeting, Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Salaheddine Mezouar reiterated that “the (EU) court’s decision is legally flawed and politically biased. It seriously affects the cooperation between Morocco and the European Union. It must be fixed.”

Federica Mogherini in turn assured that: “The EU remains convinced that the agreements between Morocco and the European Union are not a violation of international law and as such an appeal has been filed , the agricultural agreement otherwise remains in force.”

She further noted that “the European Union and Morocco will work as true partners on these issues” adding that “many contacts have been made at all levels between the EU and Morocco on this issue since December.”

Salaheddine Mezouar who hailed the development as positive news said he expected the EU to “respect its international commitment to Morocco” and continue to implement the Agricultural Agreement which the EU said remained in force.

The Moroccan Foreign Minister is expected to visit Brussels before the end of March to finalize the discussions held in Rabat.

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