Morocco's interests should be central in any new fishery accord, minister
Morocco-European Union, Economics, 2/17/2001
Morocco on Friday stressed that the preservation of its interests should at the core of any new fishery accord with the European Union.
"Morocco is not in confrontation with Europe. Morocco is rather in cooperation with Europe, and it will use all means to reach the fairest possible accord," Moroccan fisheries minister, Said Chbaatou, told a meeting in Casablanca of Moroccan and European experts.
European agriculture and fisheries commissioner, Franz Fischler, is expected next week in Morocco for a new round of talks with Morocco.
Moroccan-European fishery negotiations started last September but failed to reach agreement on the renewal of a fishery accord.
Negotiations are stumbling over several issues, mainly the duration of the accord-- Morocco wants it not to exceed 2 years while the EU seeks to strike a deal for 4 to 5 years--, the number of European trawlers to be allowed in Moroccan grounds, the amount of the financial compensation to be granted to Morocco and other technical aspects.
Since the latest fisheries accord between Morocco and the European Union expired on November 30, 1999, more than 500 European trawlers, mostly Spanish, are forced to berth.
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