European parliament delegation confers with Moroccan mps
Morocco-European Union, Politics, 2/14/2002
The European parliament delegation, which is currently on a visit to Morocco, held a meeting here Thursday with the Moroccan parliamentary group in charge of relations with the European parliament.
The group members, representing various parties represented at the parliament, informed the visiting delegation about the developments of the Sahara issue and called it to contribute, on the humanitarian level, to the settlement of the issue of the Moroccans still detained in the polisario-controlled camps in Tindouf, south-western Algeria.
The Moroccan MPs deplored the painful living conditions of the Moroccan prisoners and underlined that their detention is contrary to the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention.
Some 1362 Moroccans are still detained on Algerian soil in the Polisario jails in alarming conditions. Most of the detainees have been imprisoned for more than 20 years.
Chairwoman of the European delegation, Catherine Lalumiere, deplored the situation of these sequestered populations. She said "we are worried about the fate of these populations, these disunited families." A settlement of this issue would be in the interest of these populations, she insisted.
The Moroccan side also stressed that the Sahara problem is actually a Moroccan-Algerian problem that is posed in a geo-strategic frame, underlining the ambivalence of the Algerian position regarding the issue of Morocco's southern provinces.
The European Parliament delegation, which started its visit to Morocco Monday, also conferred with speaker of the House of Representatives (lower house), Abdelouahed Radi, and with minister in charge of human rights, Mohamed Aujjar.
The delegation made a trip to the Moroccan southern city of Laayoune Tuesday and Wednesday and held there several meetings with local authorities, elected representatives, heads of local tribes and dignitaries, former members of the Polisario and representatives of the civil society.
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