In written response to a parliamentary question Alice Astrom  (V), the Swedish foreign minister and UN General Assembly chairman Jan Eliasson protested on May 19th the European Union's decision to purchase fishing licenses in the territorial waters of occupied Western Sahara through Morocco.

"The right to self-determination is a founding principle of the UN charter The UN Security Council has in several resolutions affirmed Western Sahara's right to self-determination. Sweden bases its opinions in the Western Sahara issue on international law. Western Sahara is, from the viewpoint of international law, not a part of Morocco, and the area's future status must be resolved by the Sahrawi people. The UN has a central role in solving this conflict."

It should be recalled that on April 25, Eliasson stated that in relation to Western Sahara, "international law is crystal clear. The basics are that Western Sahara is not a part of Morocco, it is occupied and annexed. There exists a legal obligation not to support illegal annexation, and the people in the territory has a right to the natural resources of the territory".

Now commenting on the proposal of Kofi Annan to open direct negotiations between the parties, Eliasson stated that "Sweden can support a solution that is accepted by both parties. A condition for a lasting and sustainable solution is that the basic demands of international law are not by-passed. For this reason, it is essential that the UN retains a central role in the Western Sahara conflict."

Furthermore  the Swedish Agriculture minister Ann-Kristin Nykvist came out strongly against the EU treaty with Morocco, stating that Sweden would cast a 'no' vote at the EU meeting  in Brussels next week "We do not accept a treaty that would mean  that Morocco gets the possibility of fishing on an occupied and annexed area. We have made a legal analysis, and this is not reconcilable with international law."

Nykvist stated that Sweden would submit a formal declaration in protest. Asked what good this declaration would be to the      Sahrawis, she responded: "They will benefit greatly from it, because it is a clear signal that Sweden does not accept the occupation and annexation of this area"

The Polisario Front and the Saharawi authorities would like to welcome this Swedish clear position which reflects the solid stand in defending the numerous resolutions of UN which demanded the respect of the right self-determination of the Saharawi people and it comes in the frame work of the historical position of Sweden in supporting  justice and principle of self-determination and democracy  human right and international law . On the eve of the 33th Anniversary of 20th of May "  the start of struggle  for freedom and independence ", The Polisario Front would like to urge all EU members to follow the Swedish position and vote against this illegal treaty which  violates   the international law.  

Thirty years have already elapsed and the Saharawi people are still deprived from their very fundamental political and economic rights, half of this ordeal occurs under the presence of MINURSO in Western Sahara.

The Saharawi people urgently renew their appeal to the International community to assume its moral and political responsibilities  in defending the International legality and the resolutions taken in this regard, in a moment, in which the situation in the occupied territories of Western Sahara is significantly deteriorating and may lead to horrible unexpected consequences.

It is high time that the International Community fulfils its duties, in particular, the EU members states through the rejection of the fore coming illegal fishery agreement with Morocco which continue to invade illegally Western Sahara and commit fragrant human rights violations in contradiction with the International  norms mainly with the concerned states involved in this treaty.

Y. Lamine Baalli  

Polisario Representative for the Nordic Countries -Stockholm 2006-05-19

Tel 00468 31 56 10
e.mail : polisasw@yahoo.com


[Communiqués, lettres. documents, archives]