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Morocco/EU: Agreement is a strategy that benefits sahara population

Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests Aziz Akhannouch said that the new agricultural agreement, which was overwhelmingly approved by the European Parliament, is “strategic and will benefit the Moroccan Sahara population, which is clearly covered.”

“We are very happy with this positive vote, which was one of the expectations of our country,” Akhannouch said in a press statement on Wednesday.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests said that “the positive results enhance the free operation of the southern regions.” The Sahara population has a strong relationship with agriculture and fishing through the “Green Morocco Scheme” and the “Alliotis Plan”.

“A total of 65 to 66,000 inhabitants of the southern regions are engaged in the agriculture and fishing sectors, which are two sectors that the Europeans have stressed to the importance of the population during their visits to the region,” the government official said.

“We had a number of distortions to influence the new agreement, but the work that we have done has been very important, especially at the level of consulting citizens in our southern provinces and how they benefit from the proceeds,” he added.

Akhannouch said that the people of the Sahara, through the elected officials, expressed their national hatred about the battle of the agricultural agreement which Morocco has fought, referring to the visits they made to the institutions of the European Union in order to defend their interests.

On the other hand, Akhannouch referred to the visits made by a number of European committees and parliamentarians to the southern regions in the negotiations phase, through which they closely examined the volume of investments made in the desert.

Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Security and Foreign Affairs Policy, will visit Morocco, where she will meet with Prime Minister Saad Eddine ElOthmani, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Nasser Bourita, Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit, Speaker of the House of Representatives Habib ElMalki, as well as representatives of Moroccan civil society.

The visit, according to a statement issued by Mogherini’s office, “comes within the framework of the resumption of relations between Morocco and the European Union, with the aim of building a closer, deeper and more ambitious partnership.” The European official and her delegation will review bilateral relations with Morocco in the fields of politics, economy, security and migration.

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