EU calls for dialogue after Morocco breaks off ties over legal row

The European Union appealed Friday for Morocco to resume talks with Brussels as soon as possible, a day after Rabat announced a suspension of ties to protest an earlier EU court ruling.

 

In December, the EU‘s General Court struck down aspects of an agriculture and fisheries deal with Morocco because it included the disputed territories of the Western Sahara.

 

The bloc‘s member states have appealed the ruling, which the Moroccan government criticized as being politically motivated. Rabat also said it was waiting for further explanation from Brussels.

 

"We are ready to provide all clarifications and additional assurances to respond to Morocco‘s concerns, so the contacts and cooperation can be re-established as soon as possible," EU foreign policy spokeswoman Catherine Ray said Friday.

 

"It is our conviction that a true partnership implies listening, sharing, solidarity and mutual respect among partners," Ray added.

 

The December court ruling found that the trade deal, implemented in 2012, did not fully take into account the fundamental rights of the indigenous people of Western Sahara. Morocco claimed the territory after Spain relinquished its former colony in 1976.

 

The case had been brought by the Polisario Front, a Western Sahara independence movement.