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Morocco wins backing, Sahara conflict excluded from EU Parliament report


Last week, Moroccan diplomacy secured the support of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, especially the Spanish Member of the European Parliament, Nacho Sanchez Amor, coordinator of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and responsible for writing and submitting the annual report.

The Spanish newspapers El Confidencial and Publico reported that a large number of Spanish parliamentarians received emails from Moroccan embassies in several European countries on the eve of the vote. These emails urged them to reject the amendment presented by the Spanish MEPs Miguel Orbán and Manu Pineda on behalf of the Left group.

Among these messages is a letter from the Moroccan Ambassador to Denmark, Khadija Rouissi, to members of the European Parliament from the Danish Social Democrats.

In the letter, she stated, «I would like to express my firm confidence that you will call for a balanced perspective and oppose this unfounded amendment that would be more harmful than useful, while the institutions of the European Union and Morocco are developing substantive efforts to enhance mutual trust and understanding».

This amendment stipulated that «special attention should be given to the human rights situation in illegally occupied territories, including situations of protracted occupation, such as Palestine and Western Sahara».

During the vote on the amendment, the Socialists, led by the Spanish MEP Sanchez Amor, proposed dividing the proposal and voting on each part separately. In the first vote, MEPs discussed deleting the phrase «such as Palestine and Western Sahara» from the report before the proposal could be voted on.

386 members of the European legislative institution voted in favor of deleting the phrase «such as Palestine and Western Sahara» from the document, against the opposition of 110 representatives from the left and the Greens, and 24 abstentions from voting.

In addition to the Socialists, the majority of liberal representatives from the Renew Group and the European People’s Party voted in favor of deleting the phrase referring to the region.


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