30 June 2014

Morocco: Polisario Front Warns Against "Illegal" Activities of Some Companies in Western Sahara

Bir Lahlou — Saharawi President, Mohamed Abdelaziz warned against "illegal" activities of certain foreign companies conducting exploration and drilling of oil and gas off the coast of Western Sahara, calling the Secretary General of the UN to intervene to stop these acts.

In a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, the Saharawi President and Secretary General of the Polisario Front, Mohamed Abdelaziz pointed out that "this kind of activity is illegal and constitutes a serious challenge to efforts to reach a mutually acceptable political solution that provides self-determination of the Saharawi people."

The Saharawi President called on the UN to intervene to put an end to these activities which hinder the efforts of the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, able to reach a just and lasting solution to the conflict and achieve security and regional integration in the Maghreb.

"The Moroccan government recently signed contracts with American company Cosmos Energy and French company Total, to conduct prospecting and drilling operations for oil and gas near the Saharan coast," he recalled.

"In December 2013, the two companies have signed a declaration of principles with the Moroccan National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines, under which these activities are conducted in compliance with the international code," he added.

"Morocco is illegally occupying Western Sahara. It is not entitled to conclude an agreement for the exploitation of natural resources of Western Sahara," said the Saharawi president, stressing that "any such agreement is considered null and void."

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