Financial dispute 'could scupper' potential renewal

Morocco-EU to continue fishing agreement talks

GMT 13:25 2013 Monday ,22 July

Arab Today, arab today Morocco-EU to continue fishing agreement talks

First fishing agreement between Morocco and the EU was signed in 2006
Rabat - Youssef Abdel Latif

First fishing agreement between Morocco and the EU was signed in 2006 Moroccan authorities are expected to continue Wednesday negotiations with European Union (EU) officials about renewing the EU-Moroccan Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) .
The parties held two days of talks last week, but failed to reach an agreement on the financial compensation Morocco should receive for allowing European fishing vessels to fish off its shores.
The EU's €25-28 million offer falls well short of the Moroccan government's €40 million demand.
Political sources told Arab Today that the government had turned down the European offer along with condition related to fishing in the country's southern provinces.
Morocco and the EU began their negotiations on Thursday and Friday, immediately after the King of Spain Juan Carlos I completed a four-day official working visit to the North African state. Both parties are hopeful of renewing the FPA for the sixth time, but sources said finances "could scupper" any real progress in this regard.
EU media outlets quoted political sources as saying that the European Parliament wants Western Saharan waters to be removed from the new agreement, while the government is strongly against such a proposal.
Morocco managed to convince the EU to include Western Saharan waters in the FPA, when it first signed the agreement back in 2006.

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