Rabat – Germany’s industrial manufacturing giant, Siemens, responded harshly to Polisario Front pressure to refrain from investing in Western Sahara at its annual Olympic stadium meeting in Munich on January 31.
When Polisario member Khadija Bedati asked Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser to reconsider the company’s investments in Western Sahara region, Kaeser responded, stating that Siemens “has no intention whatsoever to break the law” in the region. Kaeser, quoted by Moroccan newspaper Akhbar Al Yaoum added that “it is no question at all that we recognize European judgment on international law and it does not affect the effectiveness or legality of civilians or individuals and companies in Western Sahara,”
The CEO added that all investments in the Sahara are in line with international regulations. “Therefore, the group’s investment in the Sahara will be maintained and continued.”
The group’s pronouncements, according to Akhbar Al Yaoum, were addressed to denounce campaigns and other maneuvers carried out by the Polisario Front and its supports at the level of the various institutions of the European Union.
Since January, separatist media has been denouncing projects carried out by international companies in Western Sahara. Polisario has urged the European Union to compensate the separatist group issue sanctions for the exploitation of natural resources without its permission.
In an interview with Spanish news outlet Europa Press, Mohamed Sidati, Polisario’s delegate minister for Europe said that the Front has demanded EUR 240 million in compensation for the alleged damages caused by resource exportation to the EU.
Siemens’ reaction was also a response to the alleged statement issued by the German state secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs, who allegedly stated, “The federal government does not support the economic activities of German companies in Western Sahara and does not secure business through export credit and investment guarantees.”