Morocco suspends contacts with EU over trade row

A multi million dollar contract that with the EU has been suspended over disputes over the Sahara region

Morocco suspends contacts with EU over trade row

World Bulletin / News Desk

Morocco has suspended all contact with the European Union delegation in Rabat over a trade dispute, a confidential Moroccan government document shows - a move that could substantially slow down multi-million dollar development projects reports Reuters.

The row has arisen at a sensitive time as the country plays a growing role in security cooperation, helping France and Belgium track rebels who carried out last year’s Paris attacks.

Rabat’s decision comes one stop short of a formal suspension. An EU source said that Morocco has remained in regular contact with high level EU officials, including foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

Two other EU sources said the suspension may disrupt around 1.03 billion euros ($1.12 billion) of funding that the European Union has granted to the North African kingdom.

“To keep projects working and funds flowing, meetings and information exchanges are needed. That is how the money is disbursed,” one EU source said.

The Moroccan foreign ministry asked government departments to suspend contacts and not to arrange meetings with the EU team in Rabat, the document showed, after an EU court last month cancelled a trade agreement with the kingdom, saying it should not include the disputed West Sahara region.

The EU funding program includes some 188 million euros to support Morocco’s advanced status with Brussels, 125 million euros for education, 100 million euros in health support and some 75 million euros to reform the judiciary in the country.

Last Mod: 30 Ocak 2016, 12:15
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