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Morocco: MFA Requests Halt to Import to New Zealand of Phosphate From Occupied Western Sahara.

Summary: Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Salem Ould Salek requested from the government of New Zealand to bring to an end the import to New Zealand of phosphate from occupied Western Sahara, in a letter addressed Thursday to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand, Mr. Murray McCully.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Salem Ould Salek requested from the government of New Zealand to bring to an end the import to New Zealand of phosphate from occupied Western Sahara, in a letter addressed Thursday to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand, Mr. Murray McCully.

"Our government considers the taking of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara to be wholly indefensible. The Saharawi people have been outspoken about the matter. We think collectively the case for restraint and an end of what is, in practice, the enrichment of an occupying country that shows little prospect of complying with basic international norms, by accepting the sale of phosphate rock from Western Sahara is starkly apparent," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Salem Ould Salek in his letter.

He also stated that the purpose of this letter is to convey to the government of New Zealand the concern of the Saharawi people and their government over the import to New Zealand of phosphate mineral rock from occupied Western Sahara, emphasizing that the activity has continued for several years, the Saharawi government has endeavoured to express its concerns to the two companies involved, Balance-Nutrients Ltd and Ravensdown Ltd, and has recently called to implement trust oversight of resources in occupied Western Sahara.

The letter indicated that in 2012 and 2013 New Zealand companies imported about 660,000 tonnes of phosphate rock from Western Sahara with a value around 111 Million US Dollars going to the Moroccan treasury.

It concluded that significant problems result from the taking of Saharawi phosphate. Half the Sahrawi people remain in refugee camps, unable to enjoy the benefit of an export trade in a commodity which, it is universally agreed, is their sovereign resource. Equally serious, the taking of the phosphate rock depletes a non-renewable resource, enriching the Moroccan government as occupying power and entrenching its occupation of Western Sahara while denying the full potential of the resource to an eventually independent Sahrawi people.

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Publication:UMCI News (Potomac Falls, VA)
Geographic Code:60NOR
Date:Jun 18, 2014
Words:387
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