Rabat – As the separatist group Polisario continues to challenge Morocco’s territorial integrity, the European Court of Justice will be reviewing the Western Sahara file in two hearings scheduled March 2 and 3.
The two hearings will take place before the Ninth Chamber of the European Court of Justice. The Polisario Front is challenging the legality of agricultural exports and fisheries agreements between Morocco and the European Union.
A spokesperson for the European Court of Justice explained to Agence France-Presse that the court’s decision can be expected to be published “within months.”
For the separatist group, the issue at hand comes from the “plunder of natural resources” in Western Sahara, “especially export crops, phosphates, fishing, and tourism,” explained French lawyer Gilles Duffer, speaking with the international news agency.
Read also: Morocco Exposes Polisario, Algeria’s Propaganda in Letter to UN
The Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita declared that Rabat is looking forward to defending the “legitimacy of its commercial partnership” with the EU.
According to a study published by the European Commission in December 2020, Morocco’s Sahara exports to the European Union reached a total of €435 million (MAD 4.7 billion), in 2019.
As Morocco’s Autonomy Plan has begun to see growing support on the international stage, the Algerian-backed Polisario Front vies for international recognition, with little success. Out of the 84 United Nations member states that have previously recognized the Polisario’s self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), 45 countries to date have withdrawn, frozen, or suspended their recognition of the Polisario state.
Polisario can expect to receive another setback from one of its former allies, as the Mauritanian government reconsiders recognition of SADR, a Mauritanian news outlet Anbaa recently reported.
Speaking anonymously, the source said that Mauritania’s government plans to withdraw recognition of the self-proclaimed SADR before the end of Mauritania’s current presidential term.
Read also: Mauritania to Withdraw Recognition of Polisario’s Self-Proclaimed SADR
Even as Polisario continues to accuse the UN of supporting Morocco in perpetuating the political stalemate in Western Sahara, the separatist group has found itself backed in the corner. With rapidly decreasing support, Polisario scrambles for international sympathy, engaging in a desperate media war with Morocco.
In a recent letter to the UN Secretary-General, the separatist front requested that the UN reconvene to solve the decades-long political deadlock in Western Sahara.