Mohamed Sidati, «ministre chargé de l’Europe» au sein du Polisario

Annoyed by the European Commission’s wish to integrate the Sahara in the agricultural and fisheries agreements negotiated with Morocco, the Polisario accuses the body’s jargon regarding the territorial dispute.

Mohamed Sidati, the Polisario’s «delegate minister for Europe», said he was «worried» about Brussels’ wish to integrate the Sahara in the agricultural and fisheries agreements negotiated with Morocco.

Sidati’s statement was made public during a debate attended by members of the European Commission (EC) and a group of MEPs on Thursday. They have tried in vain to convince the EC to comply with the two rulings delivered by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in 2016 and 2017, and consequently recognize the Front as the only body that «represents the Sahrawi people».

Faced with these claims, the officials fought back, relying on a different ruling issued by the same court on February the 16th, 2016. Delivered by the European Union body, the ruling suggested that the Polisario’s request is inadmissible and can’t cancel the agricultural agreement.

The EC's new approach

During their meeting, representatives from the European Commission made sure to refer to «Western Sahara» as an ensemble of provinces.

They have also called its inhabitants «local population» instead of «the people of Western Sahara». Reacting to that, the Front issued a statement indicating that «using a provocative jargon and adopting the Moroccan stance weakens the longstanding diplomatic position of the EU» on the territorial dispute.

The European Commission’s new approach according to the separatist movement is «an attempt to distort reality and marginalize the legitimate representative of the Western Sahara people, the Polisario Front». This legitimacy was at the heart of Brahim Ghali’s latest speech, delivered May the 20th in Tifariti.

For the record, Morocco is currently negotiating with the European Commission the potential renewal of the 2014 Fisheries agreement to expire in June.