European parliament delegation holds talks in Rabat
Morocco-European Union, Politics, 3/21/2000
The delegation from the European Parliament which started Sunday a three-day visit to Morocco held rounds of talks with several Moroccan officials and parliamentarians on the economic and political situation in the kingdom and on Morocco-European Union relations.
The members of the delegation-- representing the group in charge of relations with the Arab Maghreb at the European Parliament-- on Monday discussed with their Moroccan interlocutors, including Prime Minister, Abderrahmane Youssoufi and the speakers of the two houses of the Moroccan parliament, ways to upgrade cooperation between Morocco and Europe, the incidence of the European Union's enlargement on southern Mediterranean countries, and the moves initiated by the Moroccan government to reform the educational system, the administration and justice.
Head of the delegation, Raimon Obiols Y Germa, stressed the need to make a thorough assessment of Moroccan-EU relations and to find solutions to the issues of agriculture, fisheries and immigration.
Talks equally covered the latest developments of the Sahara issue and the UN settlement plan --providing for the holding a referendum in the Sahara, a Moroccan southern territory that was formerly under Spanish rule and that was retrieved by Morocco in 1975 under the Madrid accords.
The vote, which will give the people of the Sahara a choice between independence or integration in Morocco, has been repeatedly delayed because of the maneuvers of the separatist Polisario which seeks to shrink the voters list.
The European delegation voiced full backing to the UN plan while the Moroccan side renewed Morocco's attachment to the right of all citizens of Sahara origin to participate in the vote.
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