Swedish parliament: W. Sahara "under occupation"
Swedish Parliament: Western Sahara is "under occupation" and Sweden will demand review of fishing agreement
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Swedish Parliament (Riksdagen) has discussed the question of Western Sahara, taking several strong positions on the issue. Among other things, the Committee clarifies that "Sweden still considers Western Sahara to be under occupation according to international law." The Committee further opined that Sweden should "continue to support the right of self-determination of the Western Saharan people" and that "the endeavours to bring about a referendum must be pursued without pause."
The Foreign Affairs Committee also noted that Sweden, through several channels, is one of the largest bilateral aid donors to the Western Saharan refugee camps. This aid is humanitarian, and mainly comes in the form of food, hygiene articles and clothes. Further, the Committee expressed concern over the abuse of human rights in occupied Western Sahara, and noted that Sweden supports giving MINURSO a mandate to monitor human rights.
In regard to the EU-Morocco fishing agreement, which unlawfully includes Western Sahara's territorial waters, the Committee "underlines that Sweden was the only member state of the EU that voted no to the agreement" and stated that "the Committee supports the Swedish position on the matter of the fishing agreement, and deplores that the EU member states are not in agreement with this position." According to the Committee, both the Swedish Minister of Agriculture, Eskil Erlandsson, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt, have stated that they will call for reviewing what advantages this agreement brings to the Sahrawi population in Western Sahara, at the next meeting of the joint EU-Morocco follow-up committee.
For the full statement of the Foreign Affairs Committee, in Swedish at the official Parliament Website, see:
[Unofficial translation & excerpt]Forwarded by: