Norway: No way for Western Sahara free trade
Article image
"Since Morocco does not exercise internationally recognised sovereignty over Western Sahara, Western Sahara is not seen as a part of Morocco’s territory in relation to this agreement. The Free Trade Agreement is thus not applicable to goods from Western Sahara", stated Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jonas Gahr Store, 11 May 2010.
Published 12 May 10

\"Since Morocco does not exercise internationally recognised sovereignty over Western Sahara, Western Sahara is not seen as a part of Morocco’s territory in relation to this agreement. The Free Trade Agreement is thus not applicable to goods from Western Sahara\", stated Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jonas Gahr Store, 11 May 2010.
Unofficial translation by Western Sahara Resource Watch.
Read original on homepage of Norwegian Parliament (in Norwegian).

Statement by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jonas Gahr Støre, in the Norwegian Parliament, 11 May 2010, as a response to a question raised by leader of the Christian Democratic Party.

\"It is Norwegian policy that one when interpreting the territory application of Free Trade Agreements, take the relevant states’ internationally recognised borders as a point of departure. The Free Trade Agreement between EFTA and Israel is thus not applicable to produce with origin in the Israeli settlements on the West Bank. Similarly, the Free Trade Agreement between EFTA and Morocco is not applicable for Western Sahara.

The Free Trade Agreement between the EFTA states and Israel of 17 September 1992 in article 2 establishes that it is applicable for goods with origin in a EFTA state or Israel. It further follows from article 32 that the agreement is applicable for the territories of the signatory parties. With regards to what constitute Israeli territories, one take as a point of departure Israel’s internationally recognised borders. This encompasses the territory that was under Israeli control prior to 4 June 1967, and thus not the Golan Heights, Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Free Trade Agreement between EFTA and Israel is thus not applicable for produce from Israeli settlements on the West Bank.

Similarly, when it comes to the Free Trade Agreement between the EFTA states and Morocco, of 19 June 1997, it is, according to article 2, applicable to produce with origin in an EFTA state or in Morocco. It follows from article 36, that the agreement is applicable for the territories of the signatory parties. It must also here been taken as a point of departure the internationally recognised borders of Morocco. Since Morocco does not exercise internationally recognised sovereignty over Western Sahara, Western Sahara is not seen as a part of Morocco’s territory in relation to this agreement. The Free Trade Agreement is thus not applicable to goods from Western Sahara.

It is thus not correct that there is a differential treatment when it comes to the application of the Free Trade Agreements, when it comes to the Israeli settlements on the West Bank on one side, and Western Sahara on the other. \"

Explosive corona increase in occupied Western Sahara

After Moroccan settlers in the fisheries industry returned from Morocco to occupied Western Sahara, the number of positive corona patients in the territory has increased with 8250 percent in less than a week. 

26 June 20

Follow the latest news on corona in Western Sahara

We compile the latest news about the corona crisis in occupied Western Sahara and in the refugee camps. LATEST: Massive increase of corona cases in the occupied territories. 

11 June 20

New report tells the stories of imprisoned Saharawi students in Moroccan jails

“A prison is normally filled with constant noise from all the prisoners. But not Ait Melloul. In Ait Melloul the silence is terrorizing you and only broken by the screams of prisoners getting tortured.” Our new report tells the story of a group of prisoners that the UN asks to be released. 

10 June 20

Norwegian gas transport avoids Western Sahara at last minute

A vessel transporting Norwegian gas was supposed to arrrive in occupied Western Sahara tomorrow, but has now steered away last minute, as ordered by the exporter in Norway.

06 June 20