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LYMEC, the European Youth, urgently requests EU representatives to reject the vote in the Parliament later today that could potentially pave the way for European fishing vessels to fish off the shores of Western Sahara.

The approval of such a protocol would give Morocco financial and diplomatic reward for its continuing violation of the basic human of the Sahrawi population, actions that LYMEC considers to be completely unacceptable. EU fishing vessels are already devastating West African fish stocks and the protocol would make matter worse.

One of the core principles of the EU, which should also be reflected in the EUs trade policies and agreements, is that of respect of minorities, and this is simply not reflected in either the process of the agreement or in the end result.

LYMEC supports a fisheries protocol with Morocco, but believe the waters of the Sahrawi people should have been excluded from the agreement, as it has been done in similar agreement by both the United States and EFTA.

The occupation of Western Sahara appears be to somewhat tacitally legitimatised by this protocol. As democrats who believe in self-determination, LYMEC strongly suggests that the EU focuses its energy on human rights abuses in the area and an inclusive approach to sustainable fishing rather than seek short term economic gains at the expense of an entire population. This damaging protocol could end up being a devastating obstacle in finding a long-term solution to the territorial conflict between Morocco and the Sahrwai people.

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