As PN went to press, the Western Saharan resistance movement Polisario was holding its third round of talks in two months with the Moroccan government, which illegally occupied Western Sahara in 1975. The talks, on the outskirts of New York, were under the auspices of the UN.
Meanwhile, Morocco is facing some pressure from the EU, as the renewal of the €36.1m a year EU-Morocco fisheries agreement expires on 27 February. As previously reported, a European parliament report has concluded that the agreement is illegal because it includes Western Saharan waters, but the people of Western Sahara do not receive their share of the money.
The European commission has demanded that the Moroccan authorities prove that the fisheries agreement is also benefiting the people of Western Sahara. Back in October, the fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki said: “We cannot renew this agreement until the Moroccan authorities have transmitted this information.”